DENVER | Amid the neon lights, sculptures and interactive art that flood the walls inside Meow Wolf is a small, quiet room filled with dresses that Colorado artists intricately made out of paper.
Meow Wolf patrons can ogle at some of the dresses that walked down the catwalk during the ONE Paper Fashion Show last spring, hosted by the One Club for Creativity in Denver. Every year, they host the paper fashion show, which supports DAVA, an Aurora-based nonprofit organization that provides free, year-round youth programs.
Krista Robinson, executive director of DAVA, said the nearly 30-year-old program serves about 750 people every year, and they received “upwards of $75,000 over the year of [their] partnership” with the Denver-based arts organizations.
As a nonprofit organization, Robinson said that most of DAVA’s funding goes toward keeping its programs running. The organization runs free art classes year-round, and summer programs for kids ages three through 12th grade. DAVA pairs art with workforce development training for older students. Many of its programs bring the arts to students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access those opportunities, Robinson said.
DAVA also partners with Aurora Public Schools to hold exhibitions for district art students, and has many Aurora Central students in its programs, she said.
Robinson said that having the dresses in Meow Wolf is “the perfect venue” because “all the people enjoying Meow Wolf and just all the creativity and expression here would also support a unique event like this. It’s all going towards building the next generation of creatives in the Denver metro area.”
It’s the mission to support the arts for children, and the opportunity to be creative that brought Brielle Killip’s designs to life in the exhibit. She works as a graphic designer by trade but has always been attracted to creating things. Two of her dresses are on display at Meow Wolf.
One of her designs is a dress made with more than 20,000 strips of pink paper and more than 600 black circles that were elaborately glued and pieced together to create a dress with a corset and cape.
Her second design is a long teal-blue dress created by folding and sewing long strips of paper.
Denver-based artist Kate Major, created two dresses for the exhibit. One is inspired by Rococo fashion and includes a wide skirt, ruffles and a tall white wig. Another is made out of paper-mache.
Veronica Dewey, who participated in the first Paper Fashion Show in 2005, works as a costume designer. She also created two designs for the exhibit. One of her designs includes a brightly colored cape and another includes an extravagant headpiece.
Paper clothing rose to popularity in the U.S. and Europe after World War 1, when raw materials became scarce, according to a report from the Smithsonian Magazine. It fell out of style by the mid-1920s and rose back up to popularity by the 60s with the pop art movement.
The paper dress exhibit is located on C Street, where the elevator drops off patrons. It is located to the left of the elevators. The exhibit will be available at Meow Wolf until Jan. 5.
“I would love to see more exposure, more excitement, more people coming to not only see such incredible imagination and creativity, but also give back to a good cause in the community,” Robinson said of the exhibit.
Also, DAVA’s annual Holiday Show and Sale will begin this week. Art made by the organization’s youth will be on sale, along with art from guest artists Leya Admasu, Raymundo Muñoz, Jen G Studios, William Emerson and I Love ME Gems.
IF YOU GO: An opening reception is slated Nov. 30 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
at the gallery at 1405 Florence St. in Aurora.