Coffee with a Curator: The Dresses/ Objects Project

(Prepping for the work sample photo shoot.)

(Dress by Yours Truly.)

(Dress by Marcie Farwell of Zora Jane.)

(Dress by Alison McLennan and Rebecca Overacre.)

(Dress by Kehren Barbour.)

(Dress by Moriah Carlson & Alice Wu of Feral Childe.)

(Dress by Pilar Nadal.)

(Dress by Ambra Sultzbaugh of Ambrella Design.)

(Dress by Vanessa Filley of Moira & Obbie.)

(Dress by Sasha Duerr of Permacouture.)

(The Brady Bunch group shot.)

Thank you for all your sweet notes on the last post about my upcoming wedding-- it's all very exciting and full of creative possibility and romance. Hooray! I've got another big moment coming up this week. I'm meeting with a curator on Thursday afternoon to discuss the Dresses/ Objects Project. As some of you know, this is a project I've been working on for a few years now. It's a multi-phased project and the first phase is complete but I'm now moving on to phases two and three.

In 2007, I letterpress printed poems from Gertrude Stein's book, Tender Buttons, on to recycled fabric. I then sent these fabric prints out to ten female artists across the country and they each turned the prints into one dress/ wearable art garment. (See photos above.) Then, they sent the dresses back to me and I did a work-in-progress showing w/ live performers and poets. It was great fun!

This December, I applied for my first grant for the project in hopes to fund phase two which will be a fashion shoot of models wearing the dresses. (Think: Live models wearing these dresses in front of a custom-built white fabric backdrop hung on a steel frame with the Marin Headlands in the foreground and the Pacific Ocean in the background. Can you see it?) From there, I'll print and frame the photos and be ready for phase three: An installation.

The final phase of the project will include an installation of the dresses, the photos, and also using the text from the poems as a third element in the room. (Imagine the dresses spread throughout the space-- some on dress forms, some draped from the walls, some on the floor, etc.-- and then fashion photos mounted on the walls, and lovely scripted text spilling over the walls, onto the floor, and generally coiling around the room so the room resembles a life-sized book.) This final phase will also include live performers wearing the dresses and scheduled fittings with interested art buyers.

So, I'm meeting w/ a curator on Thursday to discuss the project. Just to chat and connect and better understand if we could work together on the installation. And I'm equal parts nerves and excitement about this meeting. I've worked with curators to create shows, to install shows, and to be part of group shows but I've never worked with a curator on a solo show or on an installation of my own. My goodness, what a big old lovely dream. So, if you believe in magic, send me some good thoughts on Thursday around 2pm California time. Okay then...


  1. So exciting! I can totally see it.

  2. sure will send you good thoughts! this is an incredibly inspiring project! can't wait to see what comes next for it.

  3. I wish you the greatest luck with this project. I find it so so interesting... and you've worked so hard on it... :)

  4. katrina - what an exciting project! i love this collection of dresses - especially vanessa's design that looks like a double dress - so clever! please keep us updated...

  5. awwww heavenly dresses...(sigh)

  6. karen: hooray! i'm glad you can see it. sometimes i think i can only see it inside my head. oh, fun.

    vivienne: thanks for visiting! the project is a few years in the works, and i dare say another year to go. (it's nice to meet you here.)

    esti: thank you! i'm glad you find it interesting. sometimes i think i've been living w/ it so long that it's just a part of my portfolio. glad to know you are cheering me on.

    aimee: thank you! yes, vanessa is quite a talented lady. so glad you like her dress.

    tiny red: you are too sweet. heavenly, some days. and hellish huge unconventional art project the next! mostly, heavenly though. thank you...

  7. woowow!! so exciting!!!


Thank you for your comments, friends. I like to think we are creating a dialogue in this space--building a virtual community.