School of Visual Arts professor, alums featured in Chicago exhibition

Tammy Hosterman
September 18, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State School of Visual Arts (SoVA) Professor Bonnie Collura and two SoVA alums are participating in a group exhibition titled "Adorn: Contemporary Wearable Art" on display in Chicago's Woman Made Gallery from Sept. 18 to Oct. 29. This exhibition showcases innovative works that challenge the traditions of jewelry, fashion, and wearable art as both “personal adornment and public sculpture,” to borrow a phrase from Victoria Golmesky of The New York Times. 

"I'm very excited to participate in 'Adorn: Contemporary Wearable Art.' Not only will it signify the first time my work is formally contextualized in relation to wearable sculpture, but its inclusion will be surrounded by impressive SoVA alumni talent," said Collura. Katie Hovencamp, a 2014 master of fine arts graduate, and Christine Bruening, who received her bachelor of fine arts in 2015, also have work included in the exhibition.

Collura's piece, "Armor for White Light," was made over the course of two years, with the assistance of School of Visual arts alumna Elizabeth Fontaine. Intricate line patterns were traced onto muslin from former drawings. These tracings were scribed in pencil onto the muslin, filled with black ink, and sewn over with white threads. Rectangular paper textures encrust sections of these muslin pieces, their shape and position inspired by samurai warrior armor. These small "nuggets" are cut and sewn onto the muslin, and represent the last 10 years of Collura's finished drawings.

"As my body engages with the airbrushed paper and drawn lines on the cloth, layers fold into undulating surfaces in space creating an animated picture," said Collura. "In this way, my body fills up the interior space of the garment to choreograph the curvature of the garment's folds. While I have sculpted aspects of a morphing skin in previous static work, this will be the first instance where my actual body becomes a sculptural tool to create a final form's movement."

An opening reception for the artists will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18, in the Woman Made Gallery.

Last Updated September 18, 2015