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Students design outfits made from used materials

Cristina Esquivel
Outfits will be displayed at the Union Gallery, located on the second floor of Union East, until May. 4.

You may have seen clothing made from silk, fine fabrics or cotton, but chances are you’ve never seen clothing made from recycled materials. In honor of Earth Week, Union Services will put on a unique fashion show that will take place at noon, April 23 at the UTEP Union Plaza.

Union Services will also have an art exhibit that features the work from artists on campus. In order to have a place in the exhibit, participants had to create either clothing for the fashion show, a sculpture, paintings or jewelry that incorporated the theme of Earth Week and be constructed from recycled materials. The exhibit will be housed in the gallery at Union Building East on the second floor. The exhibit will be open from April 21-May 4.

“The theme R3: Re-Create, Re-Think, Re-Discover really focuses on not just recycling, but also rethinking the choices we make daily in regards to what we consider trash,” said Nicole Aguilar, assistant director for Union Services. “It’s easy to see just how easy it is to turn a coffee pot into art, empty water bottles can light up a room as a decorative chandelier and aluminum can create the latest fashion apparel.”

The event was open to students in March and April. Many submitted their work to participate and went through a judging committee prior to being allowed to participate. Among the students whose work will be featured is freshman art major Briana Martinez, who works for Union Services.

“My co-workers and I started using a lot of recycled materials from around our office to create collaborative pieces,“ Martinez said. “I became inspired to do my own piece with leftover labels that we had printed for the fashion show, which we are also hosting Wednesday (April 23).”

Martinez took leftover fashion show labels that Union Services had printed and painted over them with watercolors, to make them an interpretation of Mother Nature.

“I believe that I was able to capture the Earth Week theme with my drawing,” Martinez said. “As an office, we built a lot of pieces made from recycled materials, but I wanted to draw an image that captured the beauty of nature and what it can look like if everyone helps to take care of the world.”

This is the second time that Earth Week has been a theme in the
Union Gallery.

“This exhibit is very unique in its own right. We see just how creative someone can get using ordinary, used pieces we see in everyday life to create a work of art. It’s a reflection of creativity, effort and really gives the audience a different perspective on items they might think of as only trash,” Aguilar said. “Most of the materials used are recycled, which makes the pieces even more impactful. The fashion show is new, so we’re super excited to show the talent of students and artists here locally.”

Aguilar said the exhibit will showcase several artists, as well as work from a group of students taking an art class at Loretto Academy.

“People should come out to the gallery to see how recycling can not only benefit the environment, but that it can also be used to make beautiful things,” Martinez said. “All of these artists used basic everyday materials and transformed them into amazing works of art. Hopefully others can be inspired to do the same.”

Amber Gomez may be reached at [email protected].

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Students design outfits made from used materials