Jacket - Greg Dugdale

Jacket by Greg Dugdale, Age 18 (recycled scrap vinyl, poly cotton lining)

Off the Box by Greg Dugdale, Age 18. Materials: recycled plastic box ties, grommets, tie-dyed muslin, hoop skirt

Off the Box by Greg Dugdale (recycled plastic box ties, grommets, tie-dyed muslin, hoop skirt)

The spark of genius, the spring of inspiration…where and how do they begin? This summer we will profile our 2013 Portfolio Gold Award winners and let you draw your own conclusions! Without further ado, please meet our inaugural pair: artist Greg Dugdale and writer Anna Xie.

Greg Dugdale grew up in Carmel, IN, and this fall he will study fashion design at the Savannah College of Art & Design. His motto might well be reduce, reuse, recycle and rejoice: “Art can breathe life into ordinary recyclables. I created a chevron party dress out of colorful vinyl awning, a tapestry of paper pattern pieces sewn together, a whimsical dress composed of Coke cans and cardboard, a dress made of box ties attached to dyed fabric, a colorful ball gown completely knitted by hand, and more. The overall theme for my portfolio is a new idea of sustainable development: wearable art.”

Anna, age 18, attended O’Bryant High School of Mathematics & Science outside Boston, MA. Nature seeps into and radiates from her writing. She explains how writing became important to her and enabled her to see the world differently: “It started off small, like all beautiful things. I was a five year old Kindergartener by day and a writer of incoherent stories on pieces of lined paper by night. Ever since then, the art of writing grew on me like vines on a house. I felt it in the marrow of my bones, staining my conscious thoughts with fragmented sentences and words like stars under a night sky. Through writing, I am able to see the world with new eyes, and it is a wondrous feeling. You start to notice the little things that may seem trivial to most people, like the way the sun crawls into your skin on a cold morning or the sweet smell of grass after the rain… Sometimes, you just have to focus on the little things to really see.”

Check out a few of the poems from Anna’s winning portfolio below.

I am walking on a wire
And my ankles are too thin
I think I hear you breathing through the walls,
Your matchstick feet planting fires in my wrist
I had them stitched last week.
My laugh is an empty hallway
And I feel like running across the grass.
You fell lunar on the floorboards of my bedroom
My heart is a burnt match.
It clicks like a machine
And I am sentimental,
Pry me out of the house.
I braid a noose out of
Newfangled realizations
They litter my skies like a meteor shower
Proclivities itch at my newly stitched seams.

Weaver of stars,
Memory-stained exhalations linger
Behind your eyelids like a
Baby’s first laugh spewing fairies
Into gardens on a peach chiffon
Night, careful embroideries mimicking
The dainty wiring of those finespun
Lungs I cannot touch with my heavy
Heart — You are sharp edges and
Clavicles, find meaning in me and not
The scissors underneath your bed
When you dream of evenings along the
Edges of secluded countrysides, hair
Twined with Autumn’s lullabies —
Connect me to your constellation
Heartstrings while I chart the stars
That pin themselves in your terracotta
Irises — let me fold the map when
We crest September horizons, cedar and
Pine on our August skin.

Asteroids colliding:

Ultramarine extremities trace the surface of my
Skin like brittle threads,  I am itching to draw maps
On my arms  — I am good as new. Wild orchid breaths,
Transient chansons wander across your flaxen vertebrae
With weathered fingertips, they are more than just the
Calculated brush strokes of Italian painters dreaming
Of lunar movements with summer eyes. Comets tumble
Off the ceiling for you, I conclude this newfangled
Realization under a braided sky where they waltz
With your veins, burning up just for the
Sensation of synthetics.

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