“Under the Canopy”: The Contributions of Steve Loar and his IUP Art Students to Trashion 2012


Steven Loar, a professor in IUP’s department of art, has been working with his teaching assistants and the students of his Three-Dimensional Design class to construct numerous beautiful sculptural pieces that will be used and featured in this year’s IAC 2012 Trashion Show: Couture Garbáge.  The sculptures will follow the theme, “Under the Canopy: Impressions of the Amazonian Rainforest”, will consist of numerous intricate pieces of sculpture that can be worn, modeled, and displayed at the fashion show.  The sculptures will be constructed entirely out of post-consumer plastic waste products, and will refer to a certain kind of animal and its surrounding environment in the rainforest without relying on a literal representation.

In addition to constructing sculptural pieces to be featured in the fashion show, the Three Dimensional Design class will be presenting a larger sculptural piece that has been an ongoing communal project for Steve and his students for the past five years.   The reef, made entirely out of post-consumer plastics, was first constructed during a trip that Steve took with his class to Andros Island in the Bahamas, where they collected trash from several miles of coastline.  Since then the piece has been expanded upon by the students of each subsequent Three Dimensional Design class, as well as by students who have participated in One Island trips (see links at the bottom of this article for more information on One Island).  The reef will be featured in the IAC 2012 Trashion Show as a main scenic piece for the runway.  Steve says that the contributions to the reef this year depart from the work done by students in previous years by having students make pieces that can “stand on their own and [still] become part of a larger landscape”.

Plastic is a unique material to work with not only because of its challenging physical properties, but also because of its significance as a commodity and waste product of our society.  By focusing on this distinctive medium in their Three Dimensional Design course, Steve and his assistant’s hope that their students will gain a greater appreciation for just how much plastic is produced (and thrown away) by our society, as well as realize it’s potential as an affordable and readily available artistic medium.

Steve’s students will begin work on their sculptures two weeks before the Trashion show, which will take place on March 30th at the Coney.  Students from Indiana County high schools may also be involved in the project and even exhibit some of their sculptural pieces as a part of the Trashion Show later in March.

To learn more about some of the previous projects done by Steve Loar’s Three Dimensional Design students, please visit and explore the IUP Department of Art homepage at, www.iup.edu/art/default.aspx.

You can also read more about the One Island trip to Andros Island on the IUP Magazine website at,www.iup.edu/magazine/exclusives/page.aspx?id=84323

To learn more about the IUP’s One Island program and the incredible work being done by its participants, please visit, oneisland.us

To learn more about Trashion 2012, click on the image below.

IAC 2012 Trashion Show: Couture Garbáge, March 30th, 2012, Upstairs at the Coney

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