Award-winning theatrical and opera costume designer Kärin Kopischke presents historic renderings of Door County women in “Garments of Our Foundation” at our UU Gallery in December. The exhibit features portraits of ten compelling women from Gibraltar’s history, the result of 9 months of research, writing, sketching, painting and fabric-swatching.
The ten women include members of the Claflin, Thorp, Noble and Duclon families among others, spanning the decades from 1842 to 1918. Kopischke approached each subject as she would a character in a play, researching the available facts of their lives and the historical context. The renderings are augmented by historic fabric swatches and notions and accompanied by first-person narratives.
“In what I call ‘Historical Rendering,’ I am taking theatrical costume rendering one step further; from a means to an end to a work of art in itself,” says Kopischke. “I seek fascinating, real-life characters that have been lost in time, and represent them in a fully-explored rendering, showing their significance in their time, their place and their story.”
Kopischke earned a self-designed degree from Lawrence University in Studio Art and Piano Performance with a theatre emphasis. Kopischke regularly designs costumes for top regional theatres and operas around the country, including Peninsula Players.
“Garments of Our Foundation: Pioneering Door County Women and their Clothing” is funded by the Gibraltar Historical Association and by grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board and the Peninsula Arts Association, with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. The exhibit will move to the Link Gallery in January, where Kopischke will conduct a week-long workshop with high school students as part of Friends of Gibraltar’s Door County History Year.
The Gallery is open to the public Sundays from 11 AM – 12:30 PM, and 1-3 PM, Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays.