On Wednesday May 2, students from Cristina O’Hara’s Altmar-Parish-Williamstown High School art classes competed against hundreds of schools at the Olympics of the Visual Arts (OVA) in Saratoga Springs and took home the Most Creative Fashion Design Award.
OVA is an extracurricular school program for students across New York State, and was founded on the principal that creativity and creative problem solving in the visual arts is vital to a full and enriched life in our technological and scientific society.
The Olympics presents a series of problems that require utilizing historical references, brainstorming, problem solving, and creative solutions.
The competition takes two forms of problem solving. One is long term and requires research, planning and creativity that is completed prior to the competition and the other is a short-term, spontaneous solution and is done on-site during the competition. There were eight different long-term categories all connected by a common theme: the History of Art. Categories for this year’s competition, included: architecture, photography, fashion design, sculpture, painting, drawing, illustration, and game design.
The APW art students selected fashion design as their long-term project. This competition required students to research an art movement from history and translate it into a wearable fashion statement made from paper products.
They designed a mermaid-style dress created from papier-mâché newspaper and street maps. The paper dress was modeled by Morgan Sobotka who walked the runway in true “tree style,” swaying her arms like branches in the wind while Colin VanBuren read the following script and music played:
“Drawing inspiration from the environmental art and recycling art movement, this mermaid-style dress was fashioned from papier-mâché newspaper and street maps. Recycling old materials reduced the waste before and minimized the overall waste afterwards. Turning old and forgotten materials destined for the landfill into a beautiful garment truly embodies this rapidly growing movement. Over the past few years, humans have noticed a growing need to preserve the environment, and ultimately, our planet for future generations to come. The tree embodied the growth of the movement and the need for its growth. Branches and flowers represent new artists and pieces that are being created in this style. This movement calls on the growing need for humans to preserve our planet and to recycle for our future generations.”
As part of the project, Maggie Allardice created a portfolio to identify the art movement selected and how that movement influenced the design of the garment.
The portfolio was also used to provide evidence of brainstorming, research, references, and included documentation of creative problem solving, original sketches, reflections, and written notes.
APW team members included: Maggie Allardice, Kayla Guindon, Colin VanBuren, Hunter Comstock, Morgan Sobotka, Chelsea Cooper, Taylor Fletcher and Jenna Cramer.
They are all students in Cristina O’Hara’s art classes at APW High School.
OVA is sponsored by the New York State Art Teachers Association. This year marks the 30th year of the annual competition.