Kärin Kopischke’s ‘Garments of Our Foundation’ Opens at Link Gallery, Jan 7

Award-winning theatrical and opera costume designer Kärin Kopischke shares her knowledge and experience with Gibraltar Middle and High School students and presents historic renderings of Door County women in “Garments of Our Foundation” at the Link Gallery in the Door Community Auditorium from January 7 through February 18.

The exhibit features portraits of ten compelling women from Gibraltar’s history, the result of nine months of research, writing, sketching, painting and fabric-swatching. The ten women include members of the Claflin, Thorp, Noble and Duclon families among others, spanning the decades from 1842 to 1918.

Kärin Kopischke approached each subject as she would a character in a play, researching the available facts of their lives and the historical context.  The renderings are augmented by historic fabric swatches and notions and accompanied by first-person narratives.

As part of Friends of Gibraltar’s Door County History Year, Kärin Kopischke will be doing a week-long artist-in-residency program with Gibraltar students in grades 8 and 9.  The students will work with Kärin Kopischke, Gibraltar Social Studies teachers Lauren Mittermann and Andrew Holdmann, and Gibraltar Art teacher Sally Bahrke to create historical renderings of either a person in their family or a person from Door County History from the 1800’s.  The students will research the life and historical era of their selected person.  Then the students will write a first person narrative, create sketches, and paint a rendering of the person at a specific age.  Student renderings will be added to Kärin Kopischke’s “Garments of Our Foundation” exhibit during the week of January 31.

“In what I call ‘Historical Rendering,’ I am taking theatrical costume rendering one step further; from a means to an end to a work of art in itself,” says Kopischke.  “I seek fascinating, real-life characters that have been lost in time, and represent them in a fully-explored rendering, showing their significance in their time, their place, and their story.”

Now Gibraltar students will have an opportunity to experience Door County history by discovering and creating a rendering of the stories of local family and/or community members that lived here in the 1800s.

Kopischke earned a self-designed degree from Lawrence University in Studio Art and Piano Performance with a theatre emphasis.  She regularly designs costumes for top regional theatres and operas around the country, including Peninsula Players.

“Garments of Our Foundation:  Pioneering Door County Women and their Clothing” is funded by the Gibraltar Historical Association and by grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board and the Peninsula Arts Association, with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Link Gallery is open to the public Monday through Friday from Noon until 5 pm, and on show days from Noon until show time. The Link Gallery is located in the Door Community Auditorium, 3926 Hwy 42, Fish Creek. Please call the box office at 920.868.2728 with questions, or visit our Web site at www.dcauditorium.org.

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