Peoria Art Guild making a cinematic fashion statement in January
Photo by Prairie Center of the Arts via Facebook
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Peoria Art Guild making a cinematic fashion statement in January

There is more than meets the eye in the dresses set to be exhibited in Peoria next month.

At first glance this fashion statement looks more like twisted or perhaps recycled plastic, but upon closer inspection it is a treasure trove of past visual feasts in strip after strip of film.

No, it’s not one of Lady Gaga’s latest outfits but the work of New Orleans-born fiber artist Dana Baldwin.

Baldwin earned her bachelor’s degree from Bradley University in Peoria and is now preparing to exhibit her work at the Peoria Art Guild on Jan. 3 through 31, with the opening reception taking place on Jan. 3 as part of Peoria First Friday from 5 pm to 9 pm.

Her sculptures are made of film strips, offering an intriguing commentary on materiality over content and as organizers of the exhibit write, “They teeter between figurative and non-figurative assemblages with the intricate accumulations of film strips –- outdated due to modern technology but molded into 21st century fine art sculptures.”

They say the dresses explore the tension of “low craft” in making of “high art”. Each sculpture is on a maker’s modelling form and is created out of film, wire, stain ribbon and a dark cotton material that serves as their undergarment. It looks far from comfortable, but nonetheless stunning in its intricacy and vibrant color.

Baldwin has been influenced by the colors, textures and patterns of Spain, Portugal and Northern Africa. Her artwork has been exhibited around the world including shows such as the Art Gallery of Vogue Knitting LIVE in New York City and the Woman Made Gallery in Chicago.

Susan Barreto

Written by Susan Barreto

Susan is an award-winning journalist who has worked for a number of regional and global publications. Much of her career has been covering the global finance industry for publications published by Crains, Reuters and Euromoney/Institutional Investor. She also interned and later freelanced for Rockford Magazine as well as the Northwestern Illinois Farmer newspaper.

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