On June 22, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (FAC) at Colorado College will open World of WearableArt (WOW), an international traveling exhibition. The exhibition attracts entries from more than 40 countries and will include 32 award-winning garments from the WOW Historic Collection.

Born in New Zealand in 1987, WOW was created to challenge the traditional definitions of both art and fashion in a way that encourages designers from across the globe to bring the unimaginable to life on stage. To date, the show has only visited three other US cities, making this development an incredible honor for Colorado Springs.

Bringing World of WearableArt to Colorado Springs has been three years in the making and we are ecstatic to see it finally come to fruition this summer. WOW challenges our preconceived notions of fashion and fine art and our assumptions about the creative process itself,” said Joy Armstrong, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. “The brilliant impact of WOW is in its message that we can all celebrate our unique talents and expressions of self; that in art, as in life, anything is possible within the limits of your imagination.”

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Each of the garments from around the world will come together to challenge convention as they create works of art using materials like recycled clothing, silicon and even gourds. The only stipulations are that the garments be wearable and made well. The rest is up to each designer’s imagination.  

“What you are rewarded with is amazing. You get to see your garment on stage interacting in a world only seen in your wildest dreams. I have always said if you can dream it up and you can see what you want to create in your mind, it is only a matter of working out how to recreate your idea into reality and most of the time the hardest part is actually just to start!” said Kayla Christensen, WOW Designer (2018 Second Aotearoa Section)

The exhibition will arrive just as the FAC celebrates its 100th anniversary, highlighting the organization’s mission to inspire people to dream big, create limitlessly and celebrate all forms of art. The exhibition will combine award-winning works from the WOW competition, interpretive materials and integrated audiovisual presentations. 

The World of WearableArt Exhibition will run from June 22 through Sept. 22 at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs.

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