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Art you can wear

WAG's 100th anniversary apparel features prints of past exhibit posters

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Fashion is art and art is fashion. This is especially the case with the 100th anniversary collection at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

To celebrate the gallery's centennial, WAG retail operations manager Sherri Van Went dug through the vaults and scoured past exhibits in search of the most fabulous art to adorn their latest gallery installation -- WAG 100 apparel.

"The collection was inspired by an afternoon dig through the gallery's poster archives, which are filled with fantastic advertisements for past exhibits," says Van Went. "The posters I chose to use range in date from the late '50s to the early '70s. In the end we wound up with a collection of clothing that really celebrates the WAG's history and its centennial at the same time."

The WAG 100 apparel collection features prints of the gallery's most popular exhibit posters and ranges from avant garde silkscreened images from the 1957 3rd Winnipeg Show to the fun and playful 1970s poster from A Place for Manitobans, depicting adorable line-drawn characters in a triangle that resembles the iconic gallery.

Another fantastic tee for fashionably artsy kiddies features artwork from the poster from the fall 1960 exhibit An Exhibition of Work by George Swinton. Bright bold colours in unstructured strokes were used to create the artwork for the exhibit poster adding a youthful element to the print -- ideal for kids.

For adults looking for something eye-popping, the exhibit poster for the 1972 showing of works by Don Proch features Asesssippi -- a two-toned graphic print with a slight metallic sheen. Likewise, the poster for the 1970 exhibit Screen Shop: Recent Winnipeg Prints highlights the colourful graphic artwork of William Lobchuk.

In stark contrast, the understated yet powerful poster for the 1969 exhibit featuring the artwork of five of the biggest names in pop art, including Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, is perhaps my favourite print in the WAG 100 apparel collection.

OK America is simple -- the exhibit name and a listing of the artists whose works would be on display (free I might add) -- but there is something about this minimalistic print that I find fashionably attractive.

The WAG 100 apparel is available online at www.wag.ca or at the Gallery Shop located in the lobby of the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 2, 2013 E10

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