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Art installation is a clothes call

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 15, 2011 - Clothes encounters of the procured kind will soon materialize in Grand Center. 

Beginning Monday, Aug. 15, Craft Alliance will accept donations of shirts, skirts, pants, shoes and more at both its locations for an art installation at its Kranzberg Arts Center gallery. The clothing collection, called "Undress for Art" will continue through Sept. 10.

On Sept. 7, a pair of Miami artists whose last names form their collaborative moniker, Guerra de la Paz, will begin work on their site-specific installation even as apparel continues to arrive. The public is invited to watch as "Follow the Leader" progresses through Sept. 15. All unused clothes will be donated to Goodwill.

The creation of "Follow the Leader" has already begun with existing clothes. Local donations will be used to complete the exhibit, which will resemble a Chinese dragon, according to Neraldo de la Paz. The name of the piece references the fact that we are all linked together and that we often let others make our decisions.

"It's what's happening globally today; we put our trust in leaders who take us on a road trip to nowhere," de la Paz said.

Guerra de la Paz has been working with clothing since 1996. The team has exhibited in cities across the U.S. and in Europe including New York, Washington, D.C., Zurich and London.

The name Guerra de la Paz translates into "War of the Peace," two ideas that de la Paz believes are complimentary. "You can't have war without peace and you can't appreciate peace without war," de la Paz said. You can watch the artists at work in this video of a previous installation and check out a few photos.

Nancy is a veteran journalist whose career spans television, radio, print and online media. Her passions include the arts and social justice, and she particularly delights in the stories of people living and working in that intersection.

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