WELCOME IDEAS: The Walton Arts Center may seem like a curious place for a participatory display of recycled clothing, but organizers said the concept was in line with its sustainability-conscious organization.

Local artists and manufacturers are encouraged to submit their garments made from found objects or scraps that could potentially be featured in the upcoming “Divinity From the Discarded: A Fashion, Apparel and Garment Design” exhibition to the Fayetteville organization, Ark .. The show aims to draw attention to the upcoming WAC broadcast “Once on This Island”. The concept for the contest was derived from the eye-catching costumes from the Tony Ramos award-winning show by Clint Ramos.

A spokeswoman for the WAC said: “It takes place on a hurricane-ravaged island. The people, who play the gods, in the show end up picking up recycled and recycled found objects and adding them to their costumes – turning them from an ordinary person to a deity. We thought this was a great opportunity to call on some of our local fashion designers and artists to create an upcycled look. Then we will do an exhibition of this, [starting] the week before the show.

Participants in the statewide competition need not worry that their ideas could be used by mass retailers. While Walmart is a sponsor of the Walton Arts Center, a spokesperson made the distinction that the organization is not managed or owned by the gigantic retailer. With sustainability and overproduction by manufacturers and retailers being a topic of conversation, the idea that a Walmart-sponsored cultural institution touting a community-built salvage exhibit might seem counterintuitive. But the WAC spokeswoman said, “Walmart has nothing to do with the production or the contest that we have. They have naming rights on our installation, but they have no other connection than this.

Having never made such an open appeal before, the WAC spokeswoman said she had no idea the answer. Residents of Arkansas aged 18 or older were invited to submit only original women’s clothing, men’s clothing, or durable unisex clothing. After the close of applications on January 27, the members of the creative team “Once on this island” will judge the applications for innovation, aesthetic qualities, materials and fabrics, production techniques and sustainability criteria. . As stated in the guidelines, “When entering the Divinity of the Rejected competition, keep in mind that your entry will be evaluated on several dimensions. Your design is judged on its design, construction techniques and the successful use and application of found and / or recycled materials of choice. Successful submissions must recover “waste” in unexpected ways and reinvent fashion using one or more techniques of zero waste design, recycling and rebuilding.

The exhibition will run from February 3 to 17 to end the exhibition from February 11 to 16.

The spokesperson noted that the WAC takes sustainability “very seriously” through its own sustainability committee, recycling practices and commitment to the Broadway League Green Alliance. “Theater can be a very resource-intensive industry, particularly traveling theater. Instead of having bottled water behind the scenes, we provide reusable water bottles for performers. We also have water stations, ”she said. “We thought that [contest] was a nice extension of that – to allow people to be creative in turning something that is usually trash into something very beautiful.