Walton Arts Center Hosts Divinity from the Discarded Fashion Exhibition

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, February 4, 2020 – Whether picking up tickets for a show or coming to see Once on This Island at Walton Arts Center, you don’t want to miss the Divinity from the Discarded Fashion Exhibition Feb. 5-16 in Walker Atrium.

The exhibition is free and open during normal lobby hours: 10 am until 2 pm Monday through Friday, 10 am until 4 pm on Saturday and 90 minutes prior to show times.

Featuring the work of six Northwest Arkansas designers, the exhibition celebrates sustainable fashion and the unique costumes of the gods in Once on This Island. Designed by Clint Ramos and assisted by associate costume designer Christopher Vergara, the gods’ costumes incorporate found or upcycled objects to create a gradual evolution of the characters from hurricane-ravaged islanders into the gods in the unfolding tale.

Each piece in the exhibition is made from found or upcycled materials. Vergara curated the exhibition exclusively for Walton Arts Center. The Divinity from the Discarded Fashion Exhibition includes works by Brandy Lee, Trisha Guting, Sarah White, Rosie Rose, Alyssa Bird and Elizabeth Koemer.

Brandy Lee

  • Trash Diamond Dream
  • Materials: Salvaged laminate padding
  • Curator’s Notes: This dress exemplifies one of the tenets of upcycling, which is to make use of the natural qualities of the found material. Here the designer takes advantage of the material’s sturdiness to not only create a diamond cut-out pattern but also to draft a flattering dress shape.

Trisha Guting

  • Sagut ni Silaw (Bringing Light)
  • Materials: Double hammered bottle caps, aluminum pull tabs from cans, CDs, plastic bags, packing foam and Mylar balloons
  • Curator’s Notes: Being able to bring to mind another time or place with discarded items of the here and now is part of the fun of upcycling. While ingeniously using many modern materials, this piece evokes an ancient indigenous divinity.

Sarah White

  • Summer Dress
  • Materials: Plastic bags
  • Curator’s Notes: At its core, upcycling is about contrasts as we make useful that which has been considered useless. This summer dress is a beautiful example of celebrating the contrast. Here a light knit-like summer look is in contrast to the plastic bags from which it was made.

Rosie Rose

  • Swan Dress
  • Materials: Fabric scraps from linen clothing production and plastic soda pop rings
  • Curator’s Notes: Upcycling can be truly transformative practice. In this piece the materials have been transformed into an ombré tutu dress that has a sense of motion not found in but created by the discarded materials.

Alyssa Bird

  • The SPACE to Transform
  • Materials: Test print and misprinted t-shirts from a local screen printing company
  • Curator’s Notes: One of the tangential benefits of upcycling is the opportunity to highlight local stories. This piece is not only inventive fashion but great storytelling.

Elizabeth Koerner

  • Waste Not, Want Not.
  • Materials: Packing fabric, ribbon and trim
  • Curator’s Notes: We talk about going from day to evening but here we have gone from discarded to high fashion. This piece of wearable arts shows how upcycling can be a legitimate technique in fashion design and creation.  

For downloadable photos of each garment and photos from the show, visit Once on This Island Dropbox.

Inspired by the Tony Award®-winning Broadway revival’s immersive staging, this tour features a set with a limited number of on-stage seats available for each show. The stage seats welcome audiences to be part of the storytelling and magic of the show. On-stage seating is $25 plus applicable fees, and some restrictions apply.

Theater seating for the show starts at $40 plus applicable fees and can be purchased in-person at the Walton Arts Center Box Office, by calling 479.443.5600 or by visiting waltonartscenter.org. Patrons also can get reserved parking for $7 when they purchase show tickets.

Show Times:  

  • Tuesday, Feb. 11 and Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 7 pm
  • Thursday, Feb. 13 at 1:30 and 7 pm
  • Friday, Feb. 14 at 8 pm
  • Saturday, Feb. 15 at 2 and 8 pm
  • Sunday, Feb. 16 at 2 pm

Walton Arts Center is Arkansas’ largest and busiest performing arts presenter. Each year more than 215,000 people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma and beyond attend more than 300 public events at Walton Arts Center, including performances, rehearsals, community gatherings, receptions, weddings and more. Approximately 35,000 students and teachers participate annually in arts learning programs at Walton Arts Center, and almost 250 volunteers donate 28,000 hours of time each year to its operations. Walton Arts Center presents entertainers and artists from around the world including Broadway musicals, renowned dance companies, international artists, up-and-coming jazz musicians and more. As a non-profit organization, Walton Arts Center enjoys the generous support of public sector funding, corporate sponsorship and private donors, allowing audience members to enjoy world-class performances at a great price. To learn more about Walton Arts Center, visit www.waltonartscenter.org.