Steamboat Springs Arts Council’s Young at Art students show off latest work at Paper Fashion Show |

Steamboat Springs Arts Council’s Young at Art students show off latest work at Paper Fashion Show

Sophie Cowman shows off her creation during the Young at Art Paper Fashion Show at the Arts Depot Friday afternoon. The show
John F. Russell

— Backstage at the Depot Art Center Friday afternoon, an anxious group of girls stared wide-eyed at the crowd that was gathering for a special event marking the culmination of a week-long Young at Art session.

It was the girls’ first fashion show. But it wasn’t just any fashion show.

It was “trashion.”

Recycled materials such as newspaper, bubble wrap, straw and duct tape were transformed into elaborate ball gowns, dresses, skirts and overalls to create an entire spring collection of designer-inspired clothing.

Each piece was made by the 9- to 11-year-old models who participated in the Steamboat Springs Arts Council’s Young at Art program this week.

Last Monday, the girls met with teacher Hailey Kreis and thought they would be making miniature dresses for dolls but they were pleasantly surprised to find out they would be making clothes on a much bigger scale than that.

“It was hard at first because we had to learn how to put the dress together to keep it from ripping,” said Sophie Cowman, who created a dress that was inspired by the 12-year-old violinist at Monday’s Friends and Family Concert with Emma Meinrenken. “Making things out of paper is really, really fun and the fashion show was my favorite part even though we were nervous at the beginning.”

After showing the girls pictures of ideas and teaching techniques such as building the shapes, forms and repetitive motion to add texture to the dresses, they took off and started creating their own recycled masterpiece.

“Everyone just went for their own style,” Kreis said. “I was so impressed because some girls knew exactly the name of the style or look that they wanted. It was so much fun to watch them work like a team and create their pieces. It was above and beyond what I imagined.”

Materials used in each item of clothing was recycled and put together with tape or staples. Not only was it a way for the students to learn new art techniques, but it showed them the value of reusing materials and how to explore the realms of creative problem solving.

The Young at Art session was similar to the idea behind SSAC’s newest program, Create Space where anyone can drop off new or gently used art supplies and tools to be reused.

“In the beginning, we were all about being organized and receiving materials, and to see these come alive in this new form is so amazing and fulfilling to see,” SSAC Executive Director Kim Keith. “It’s extremely satisfying to see this program being brought alive.”

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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