Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

March 27, 2012

Team fashion makes old new again

Noteworthy Neighbor

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Following a set theme may seem to be a form of limitation placed on the creative process, but for those in the Pauls Valley arts scene, those similarities will feed instead of inhibit what makes their work unique.

While many a team participating in the PV Arts Council Trash In Fashion Show April 13 may end up reusing some of the same household items on the catwalk, team members Robin Criss-Praytor and Deanna Joy Stephens are still confident they can gain inspiration off each other’s talents. They will be joined by Joy’s daughter Erica Peacock with a goal to not only combine their talents, but also take the show beyond just what they will wear.

“We want to be theatric, we want commentary. We’re artists so let’s make this fun,” said Joy. “I am a recycled hippy, steampunk time traveler.”

Both Joy and Praytor are very familiar with reusing what might otherwise be thrown away with the former’s house having just about every piece of furniture once being something else to the latter regularly wearing jewelry or denim jackets made from what is often considered garbage. In fact, Joy will even be modeling head to toe items constructed from common trash like coke cans or broken glass to old fabric which has already undergone previous transformations.

Joy will not be alone in wowing audiences, adding how her daughter has already finished a child’s outfit which will be modeled by one of her grandchildren, Araya Joy. All three can sew, but it is Deanna who beams how much of a sunshine the young one will be and how impressive the work is given she is not juggling quite as much as her daughter who also has a couple of other kids.

“We are trying to encourage people to recycle,” said Joy. “We are a throwaway society.”

Praytor and Joy have also been a part of other PV Arts Council events with a few hanging displays at each, though Praytor may be the closest one to taking what she makes into a side business of sorts. The Maysville resident often joins her husband John in making elaborate mosaics on unconventional frames like cabinet doors out of materials from shards of pottery or glass and is proud of the satisfaction from those who receive them.

“When I go to a museum it’s all that I cannot do to touch it... I want my art to be that way,” said Praytor, noting how this show is another way to kill boredom and move on from what she’s already done. “It’s three dimensional, I love that it’s not flat.”

Like other teams Praytor and Joy don’t want to share to the point their ideas do someone else’s work, but are so excited they cannot help but share how easy it is for them to consider all sorts of plans. Yet, even though there is a secretive nature as to not give away too much for others competing for the awards and prizes, Praytor is more hopeful people will be encouraged to by what they see from someone else’s participation.

“I don’t think art’s a competitive thing,” said Praytor. “There’s enough art there for everyone.”

The entry fee is $15 for the first outfit and $5 for each additional, with a limit of three. Categories are frightening, frugal, open and formal. All submissions, at least 80 percent reused material, are due by April 9 when there will be a rehearsal at the PV Arts and Culture Center (corner of Paul Avenue and Walnut Street) at 6 p.m.

The show will start at 7 p.m. March 13 for the public after a 6 p.m. rehearsal for participants, will be $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. For more information about the show contact Mike Dyson at (405) 926-7126 or Ruthie Bustamante at (405) 268-9758.