“I loved that it became a sort of stage on which the community performed . . . on that surface which is wheelchair accessible, working with DisArt. . . . It served as the runway for the disability fashion show. Incredible! And to be able to work with the texture of a space and to serve the needs of the audience. That’s social practice right there! And really, really beautifully done!”
—Chad Alligoud, Curator, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
HYBRID STRUCTURES was conceived by Alois Kronschlaeger, in collaboration with Paul Amenta, and Ted Lott of Lott3Metz, in creative partnership with Chris Smit of DisArt. This architectural intervention was a response to the abandoned buildings that line the Northside of Rumsey Street which include: the deconsecrated Catholic church, rectory, school building and convent. A series of ramps traversed, pierced, and connected these structures, providing an accessible and inclusive exploration of the site. New vantage points were created into the abandoned buildings as well as the surrounding site, granting visitors an opportunity to experience Rumsey Street in new and extraordinary ways. Access became art.
photo credit: Nate Umstead
DisArt used HYBRID STRUCTURES as a runway for its ELEVATE Fashion Show. Disabled models from the Grand Rapids area wore curated fashions made by designers from New York, Chicago, Mexico, Boston and West Michigan.
The ELEVATE Fashion Show was a multimedia experience that included video projections on buildings, a state-of-the-art light show and digital audio, produced by the KBOgroup,
The show was hosted by WOOD TV8's host of eightWest, Rachael Ruiz and the one and only Kevin Mathews!
The fashion show, visible from many vantage points on the Rumsey Street Project site, was audio-described for visually impaired audience members, and was also interpreted in American Sign Language.
Robert Andy Coombs, fashion lead for DisArt, produced the 2015 DisArt Festival Fashion Show. He explains, “After the great success of the 2015, show I was delighted to get the opportunity to work with DisArt again. I was immediately excited to learn that we would be collaborating with SiTE:LAB in order to make HYBRID STRUCTURES double as the runway! This show will be more dynamic and diverse than the last with all-new amazing designs and creative vision.”
Gene Davidson and The Edge Salon did hair and makeup for the event.
The fashion show was streamed live for those who are unable to attend.