Winners selected in wearable art show

Winners in the Allegany Arts Council’s “A Stitch to Wear: Wearable Art Competition and Exhibition, from the left, are “Eco-Pop,” by Li-Fen Anny Chang, Best of Show; “Shibori Coat,” by Emilia Ponomarev, first place; and “Moonrise Collar & Bracelet,” by Kathleen Grebe, second place.

CUMBERLAND — The Allegany Arts Council has selected the winners of “A Stitch to Wear: Wearable Art Competition and Exhibition.”

The show focuses on art as attire, and features the work of 36 artists from across the nation whose work encompasses a range of mediums and forms. Renate Maile-Moskowitz, of Smithsonian Associates, served as juror for the exhibition.

Best of Show was awarded to “Eco-Pop,” by Li-Fen Anny Chang of Denton, Texas. Chang’s garment is constructed primarily of spray-painted soda can tabs, which the artist selected for their interesting shape, smooth texture and size.

In order to incorporate the tabs with apparel, Chang chose an A-line flare silhouette and employed hand tacking. The design is intended to promote environmental awareness by creating a modern wearable dress using recyclables.

Chang is an associate professor at the University of Texas College of Visual Arts & Design, and has more than 13 years of industry experience, beginning in Taiwan where she was an assistant designer for Graffiti Sportswear and Arrow Shirts.

While serving as faculty at UNT, Chang’s original designs have been exhibited at the American Heart Association, the Queen Sirkit Institute of Sericulture of Thailand and the International Textile and Apparel Association’s annual conferences, where she was awarded the Lectra Outstanding Faculty Designer.

“Shibori Coat,” by Emilia Ponomarev, garnered first place honors. Ponomarev is a Russian native who learned the art of felt-making, knitting and crocheting in her home country. Today, she resides in New Hampshire, where she is a member of the Northeast Felt Makers Guild.

The wool coat incorporates wet felting techniques and shibori stitching, where fabric is tied, bound, folded or twisted in various ways to create a resist so that dye will only penetrate certain parts of the material, leaving behind a beautiful pattern.

Raleigh, North Carolina-based artist Kathleen Grebe received second place recognition with her jewelry duo, “Moonrise Collar & Bracelet.” Grebe owns and operates her own jewelry line, Bold Standard, but has designed for commercial brands like Holland America and Adidas; has served as art director for photoshoots including Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, and manages high-level branding campaigns for T-Mobile, Seabourn, Zillow and others.

The award-winning pieces are constructed of acrylic and feature a bold black and white color palette and undulating shape, and are part of her Bold Standard line, which celebrates the use of non-traditional materials in large, geometric patterns and shapes.

“A Stitch to Wear” will remain on display in the Saville Gallery of the Allegany Arts Council through Dec. 28. 

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