Each spring semester we have some sort of fun gathering for the students. We've done pizza things and cookouts with themes for what to wear. Last year we had an 80s themed skate party. It was epic. This year a group of students decided we should have a formal type thing and the idea of the Art Gala was born.
You may not know this about me but dressing "formal" is not something I do ever. I have t-shirts for every occasion. Church t-shirts, everyday t-shirts and work t-shirts. I even have a small stack of running t-shirts - mostly the free ones you get for doing a race. I do not, however, have a stack of tuxedos in my closet. I threw away all my ties years ago and honestly had to borrow a couple for a wedding and some other thing I was forced into recently.
So the announcement that we were going formal threw me a bit. Naturally I had to go with humor. G and I looked up crushed velvet light blue tuxedos online but decided we couldn't pay that for a good joke. So G went to work with her skills and pieced together a colorful suit for me.
When students started to worry about what they were going to wear and we started having conversations about it, I started encouraging people to think creatively. They are art students, after all.
And then the funniest thing happened. Someone sent an email. The email told everyone they needed to actually dress formal and take this seriously.
I know, right?
If there's a faster way to get me to not take something seriously, I don't know what it is. Sadly this was the week of the event and we were all so very busy that I only had time to help one student make their own formal gown.
Sabrina volunteered because of her own dress issues and we went to work one morning fitting her for her steel formal gown.
Once the armature was welded together it was time to sew. But we had only hours so we sewed with zip ties.
The idea was for it to be transparent or translucent. We were scavenging free materials from the sculpture studio and working with what we could find. We had a roll of black plastic mesh and a couple of rolls of fabric.
This was intense. We had a team of people helping at various times and we ran right up to the deadline.
Sabrina added the big white bow on top of the giant steel posterior and it was showtime.
Or, I should say it would be showtime after we dragged the huge thing down the hall and squeezed it into Uncle Ricky's big SUV to transport it.
Then we squeezed the gown through a couple of doorways and up the stairwell. Then we squeezed Sabrina into it. The waist had to fit tight and we feared the mesh would dig into her skin. The solution was a nice, soft layer of pipe insulation. Except that the insulation made the waist a tad too tight. No worries, she just held her breath and it was latched, locking her in for the evening.
It was worth the trouble as she won "Most Creative Outfit" in the competition.
These people knew what they were doing. Spencer had a blue cape. Maggie, Drayton, Ashley and Smoak looked like pros.
Katherine, Hannah, Grace and Anna were traditionally formal as well.
I was a mess with my yellow pants, green suede shoes, skull bow tie and I don't even know what that jacket is doing.
There was dancing and silliness all night. Isaiah, Cali and Yessica had a ball.
As did Ashley.
Uncle Ricky looked so serious.
Kenya was there in a kimono, complete with the little bamboo sandals.
Hannah and Katherine
We even had a runway for everyone to walk down showing off their attire for the contests. But my phone in the low light only gave me a series of blurry runway shots. I still thought you needed to see this one of Emily in her Starbucks gown.
We had two DJs including DJ Jersey, our very own Art Historian, James Romaine. James is amazing.
And we ended the night with a limbo competition. I have no photos of that because I was in it. I got pretty low but not as low as Smoak and Spencer. They were the final two but Spencer pulled out the win. He's like a noodle.
I didn't get a shot of Mercedez but she won for "Best Formal Outfit". It was a cool formal dress with pieces of mirror all over it. It was awesome. I like Mercedez.