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University of Iowa News Release

April 4, 2006

UI Alumna Andrea Loest Will Share Her 'Wearable Artworks' April 11-13

University of Iowa alumna Andrea Loest, an artist who creates "wearable artworks" -- dresses with pictures and text that make them into works of art -- will present a lecture on her work at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, in Room E109 of the UI Art Building.

The lecture is part of a multi-day visit to the UI campus that is sponsored by the School of Art and Art History and the UI Office of the Provost.

In addition to the lecture, Loest will visit campus wearing her dresses/artworks on Tuesday through Thursday, April 11 to 13. During this time, her mission is to thank people at the UI who were instrumental providing assistance to New Orleans after the recent hurricanes.

She will begin her visit Tuesday morning with her "Trunk Show," starting about 10 a.m. near the UI Art Building, when she will open the trunks that hold her dresses and other clothing she makes. A tent will be set up for art students and other potential dress-wearers to try on her dresses. Potential models will have the opportunity to feel out how they might participate with Loest in her project on campus.

Loest and the models accompanying her will then begin her "Stroll of Thanks," crossing the footbridge to the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU). They will visit the IMU and the Women's Resource and Action Center before strolling to the Pentacrest and into downtown Iowa City.

Her full schedule has not been completed, but she will visit UI Hospitals and Clinics at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, for the UIHC Garden Show, where she will be able to thanks all those at UIHC who helped New Orleans.

Other visits in the community and on campus will be planned on Wednesday and Thursday.

Loest was born and raised on a farm in central Iowa. She attended high school in Winterset, where she developed her interest in sewing, painting and sculpture. She attended the UI and graduated with a bachelor's degree in studio art and a certificate in sexuality studies.

Loest moved to New Orleans to develop her collection of dresses that express many different sides of the feminine persona. Each dress can be related to a particular persona, or personality that Loest has developed, including "Pin Up Cowgirl," "Trophy Wife" and "Heroin Barbie." Since moving to New Orleans she has developed new characters, including "Doormat," "Greedy Bitch" and "Divorcee."

The persona dress concepts originated from dolls she created in art school. Her dresses are focused on storytelling and transformation, providing the audience with provocative works that make them think about and question the roles they are playing in today's society.

After Hurricane Katrina, Loest had to move out of New Orleans. Currently she has an artist's residency at the University of North Carolina. One goal of her trip to the UI is to visit parts of the university that helped the recovery efforts in New Orleans, to thank them for their assistance.

More information and pictures of Loest's dresses can be found at her Web site,

The School of Art and Art History is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Art and Art History web site at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,

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