Contact: Gail Rost, General Manager, The I.D.E.A. Store
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Nancy Judd may never have made a silk purse from a sow’s ear, but give her a roll of crime-scene tape, a stack of junk mail or some rusty nails and she’ll use her creative powers to transform that trash into runway-worthy haute couture.
Judd, an internationally recognized public artist, environmental educator and founder of Recycle Runway based in Santa Fe, N.M., uses her inventive “trashion” designs as a hook to get people to pay attention to how everyday choices and thoughtless throw-away practices can negatively impact the planet. Judd’s quirky, yet often elegant, eco-fashions have been exhibited throughout the world. In March 2014, she will bring both her fashions and her environmental message to Champaign-Urbana audiences as the Hatch Creative-Reuse Art Festival’s Visiting Artist-in-Residence.
The first Hatch festival, produced by The I.D.E.A. Store — Champaign-Urbana’s premier eco-edu-art creative-reuse marketplace — was held in March 2013. The 2014 festival will expand to two weeks, with events scheduled Feb. 28-March 15 at various locations throughout Champaign-Urbana. Key features of Hatch include a juried art exhibition (Feb. 28-March 15) and a one-day art fair (March 15); artists selected to participate in the exhibition and art fair are listed on the Hatch website.
Inspired by Judd’s whimsical work and her participation in the 2014 festival, organizers have added a new event this year: the “Hatch Trashion Show.” The runway-style trash-fashion show, set for March 7 at Urbana’s Lincoln Square, will be a couture event featuring garments created from the creative reuse of everyday items — recycled, reused, repurposed and upcycled materials that might otherwise be tossed in a dumpster and ultimately end up in the landfill. Participation is open to the public (non-juried), with entrance categories designated for children and adults. The registration fee is $15. More information and the registration form are available on the Hatch website.
“We are beyond thrilled by the opportunity to introduce Nancy Judd and her work to Central Illinois audiences,” said Gail Rost, past executive director of the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation and full-time manager of The I.D.E.A. Store as of January 1, 2014. “The icing on the cake is being able to host a trashion show. We are calling on creative individuals throughout the area — young and old, whether they’ve had a previous interest in fashion and design or not — to fire up their imaginations and get involved.
“Now is the time to start percolating those ideas, collecting cast-offs and creating some trash-centric and divine designs,” Rost said. “It’s also the time for folks to go online and register to guarantee they’ll have a spot in the show.”
Rost added that Hatch Trashion Show designers can strut their reimagined stuff on the runway or select someone else to model their designs.
During her two-day Hatch residency, visiting artist Judd will lead a daylong, hands-on project with students at Champaign’s Garden Hills Elementary School on Feb. 28, with assistance from Garden Hills art teacher Megan Barber. Judd also will teach two separate workshops for children and adults on March 1 at The I.D.E.A. Store, and will present a public talk that evening. Two of her sustainable fashion designs will be featured in the Hatch Art Exhibition at Indi Go Artist Co-op Feb. 28-March 15.
Judd, co-founder of the Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival — which recently celebrated its 15th year — will be in residence at Hatch Feb. 28-March 1. Although she will not be in Champaign-Urbana during Hatch Trashion, she will serve as a consultant to show organizers.
Judd’s own sustainable trashion sculptures have been exhibited in high-traffic public spaces such as shopping malls, airports, museums and art centers, and her work has spotlighted by major media outlets, from CNN to the Wall Street Journal. In 2011-12, 20 of her eco-fashions were highlighted in a yearlong installation at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; she has been invited to install a second exhibition there in 2016. Judd also has received corporate commissions from Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Target and Toyota.
Since 2012, 18 of Judd’s couture fashion sculptures have been touring the nation in the traveling exhibition “ReDress: Upcycled Style.” Following the exhibition opening at the New Mexico Museum of Art, Judd’s work has wowed gallery-goers in Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The exhibition currently is on view through Feb. 28 at the Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pa., and will move to the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wis., April 12-June 15, 2014.
One of Judd’s most recognized and highly publicized trash-fashions is the Obamanos Coat, created from Obama campaign “door-hangers.” The coat and two other wearable trash sculptures made from yard signs and other campaign materials — comprising the “Change Couture Collection — were showcased at the 2009 Green Inaugural Ball and at other inaugural events in Washington, D.C. The Obamanos Coat is now in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
In addition to designing trash couture, Judd is known as engaging and charismatic public speaker. She often creates site-specific public art in conjunction with her speaking engagements, residencies and workshops. For instance, her Jellyfish Dress, created from plastic bags, was made during a workshop in the Oregon coastal town of Lincoln City to draw attention to marine conservation issues. Her piece titled “Tireless Couture,” was created during an engagement in Chapel Hill, N.C., related to community efforts to encourage citizens to drive less and instead take advantage of the area’s bicycle paths.
In 2012, Judd was recognized for her environmental education work with a TogetherGreen fellowship. An initiative of the Audubon Society, with funding from Toyota, the fellowship was awarded to 40 individuals nationwide and included a $10,000 grant, which Judd used to design a yearlong energy-efficiency curriculum for economically disadvantaged Santa Fe 6th graders. The students then applied classroom lessons in their own homes. Part of the award also funded the creation of a Recycle Runway garment made from waste materials related to energy conservation. The wearable sculpture represented the amount of carbon monoxide that was not released into the environment as the result of the student projects.
(REPORTERS, EDITORS, NEWS DIRECTORS: More detailed information about Hatch festival activities, times and dates will continuously be added to the Hatch website in the weeks leading up to the event. Photos of Nancy Judd are available in the press section of Judd’s Recycle Runway website. Contact Gail Rost at The I.D.E.A. Store for representative photos of art included in the Hatch Art Fair and Exhibition.)