Mentor; Mentee: A collaboration between Celeste Malvar-Stewart and Tracy Powell
60 Cleveland Ave Columbus, OH 43215
On view Thursday, Jan. 26–Friday, Feb. 24, 2023 in Beeler Gallery’s Project Space
Opening reception with the artists 5–7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26.
Mentor; Mentee is a visual reflection and pronouncement of the importance of a healthy and effective relationship between mentor and mentee as told through the art of fashion.
In this exhibition, we are invited to follow a four-year journey and dialogue between fashion artists Celeste Malvar-Stewart (mentor) and Tracy Powell (mentee). It begins with the very first tailored coat Powell created under Malvar-Stewart's tutelage as a senior in the Fashion Design major at Columbus College of Art & Design. This coat is the axis around which the exhibition revolves, representing the initial recognition of extraordinary talent, strong design sense, and technical skill. It then continues onto focused designs showing the artists’ individual design evolution, their creative conversation, and the artists’ influence upon each other. The exhibition culminates with collaborative work, where the fusion of each artist's conceptual aesthetic and design expertise gives rise to an inspired collection of unique and exquisite couture pieces. Each piece incorporates sustainably created textiles (using ancient artisanal techniques), uses local fiber and natural dyes, and reminds us of the elegance that typifies beautiful tailoring and mindful design.
About Celeste Malvar-Stewart
Celeste Malvar-Stewart is a Columbus-based fashion and fiber artist focusing on sustainable design. She works with Ohio family farms to obtain luxury wool and alpaca fiber to create her high-end hand-felted textiles and couture pieces, using all natural materials. She has exhibited her work in various runway shows, galleries, and museums throughout the United States and Asia, and is widely published both nationally and internationally.
Malvar-Stewart is a full-time independent artist holding a BAA from the American College in London/Regent's University London and an MS in Fashion from Eastern Michigan University in fashion, and is currently adjunct faculty at CCAD in the fashion department where she mentors several students and alumni. She is a Columbus Makes Art featured artist, a board member with the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and chairs the GCAC’s board’s Culture and Equity Committee. Learn more about Malvar-Stewart on her website, malvarstewart.com, or by watching Every Fiber, a documentary about her work.
About Tracy Powell
Tracy Powell is a fashion designer and artist and founder of the independent brand The House of Isa. Growing up with a parent serving in the U.S. Air Force, Powell lived all over the world, including non-English-speaking locals. That experience sparked her love for reading, especially for reading comic books, and also built the groundwork for her interests in fantasy and creativity. Powell’s love for textiles and for the juxtaposition of materials—the rough and the soft, the shiny and the dull—adds a unique character to her designs, as does her use of unconventional materials, natural proteins, cellulose fibers, and embellishments for her House Of Isa designs, making it a brand with distinct individuality.
Powell holds a BFA in Fashion Design from Columbus College of Art & Design. Powell has been featured in runway shows and exhibitions throughout the Midwest (including Fashion Week Columbus 2020) and widely published in magazines and articles worldwide. Powell designed uniforms for the local hotels in the Columbus downtown area. She designs under her independent brand, The House of Isa, and she has designed for celebrities, sport celebrities, corporations, and film.