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‘Hundred Dresses Project’ grows tenfold through community engagement

“The Hundred Dresses Project” has expanded to more than 1,000 dresses in The Gallery at Penn College, where a reception was held Thursday evening to honor the artistry, empathy and outreach stirred by the engaging endeavor. On display through July 23, the exhibit features more than 150 dress prints created by professional artists and over 1,000 dress prints made by youngsters in six area school districts. The outreach to area schools was initiated by Penny Griffin Lutz, gallery director, and supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. The creator of “The Hundred Dresses Project” – artist Crystal Cawley – traveled from Maine to offer a gallery talk at the reception and facilitate a Friday workshop on paper and fiber art. An educator at Maine College of Art, she described the inspiration and origins behind the project and discussed the importance of creating art to “cope with hardship,” as the young heroine did in the classic children’s book, “The Hundred Dresses,” and the ability of art to create kindness and community. Outreach efforts will continue with performances of “The Hundred Dresses” by Studio 570 in the gallery on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, June 13-30. “The Hundred Dresses” exhibit can be viewed during the gallery’s summer hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. (The gallery is closed Saturdays and Mondays, and will be closed July 3-7.)

– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor,
and Tim Wegman, student photographer

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