AMP hosts Recycled Runway gala

American Mural Project's Recycled Runway
American Mural Project's Recycled Runway

WINSTED — It has been said that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. This proved to be true at The American Mural Project’s (AMP) Recycled Runway gala on Saturday, Sept. 28.
Fashion designers and artists who entered their work in the show were required to make wearable art creations made from at least 75 percent recyclable materials, including trash materials that would have otherwise been considered junk.
The space at AMP’s main building, where founder Ellen Griesedieck has been installing its mural, was turned into a runway where models showed off their recycled fashions as an audience of over 200 people looked on.
Jeffrey Geddes was the master of ceremonies of the event and introduced models wearing newspapers, grocery flyers, tablecloths, food wrappers and various other items that would have ended up in landfills if they had not been repurposed for fashion.
For her fashion design, Betsey Gentile used parts of metal fencing, an old greenhouse plastic cover, and plastic bags.
“This show gives trash a second life and takes them out of a landfill,” Gentile said. “It takes the trash and makes it into a thing of beauty.”
Doreen Celerino made her fashion out of supermarket fliers from a local grocery store.
“I wove more than 250 fliers into an outfit,” Celerino said. “We have to stop throwing away all of this stuff. Our oceans are overwhelmed and our environment is dying. We have to address these issues.”
The show was a benefit for AMP and its programs, including its ongoing summer programs for children in the area.
AMP is located at 100 Whiting St., which is where the Winsted Hosiery Factory operated for many years. AMP purchased the location in 2006.
AMP founder Ellen Griesedieck is creating what she calls “the largest collaborative piece of artwork in the world — a mural that is 120 feet long, 48 feet high and 10 feet deep.”
Pieces of the installed mural were on display at the fashion show.
Since the founding of AMP, Griesedieck has given predictions of when the mural would be completed. In an interview last year, Griesedieck said that the mural would be completed and open for viewing this month.
In an interview with The Winsted Phoenix, Executive Director Amy Wynn said that now there is no timeline for when the mural would be completed.
“This is not about finishing the project, this is a project which means it’s a work in progress and it’s about engaging the community,” Wynn said. “Ellen still has more young people throughout the country to engage in three-dimensional components. Besides the mural, we still have another building to make into a visitors center. Then we have to find a way to join the two buildings.”
Wynn added that “probably 35 to 40 percent” of the mural has already been installed.

American Mural Project's Recycled Runway gala
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