Dress to express: UNCG’s costume archives survives on Tate Street


It’s like walking into a library.

Each piece, each garment, each stitch tells a different story, reflects a different era. Each has a different author and purpose.

Twenty-thousand outfits fill the UNCG costume warehouse, taking over the front room of what used to be Addam’s Bookstore on Tate Street.

Flapper-style dresses from the 1920s line the 10-foot high wardrobe racks next to rows of medieval chainmail and ’60s peasant dresses.

“We have everything from monsters to animals to fairies to religious robes and military uniforms,” says Amy Holroyd, the costume supervisor for UNCG’s theater department. “There’s pretty much everything.”

Holroyd has been the keeper of the outfits for close to a decade and oversaw the moving and cataloguing of the pieces when the collection moved from its previous home on campus to its new location on Tate Street last summer. She says she’s probably handled each individual item in the collection, which ranges from accessories like socks and hats to larger pieces like dresses and jackets.

Nine rows of plastic bins full of sweaters, socks and more are stacked on top of each other in the warehouse. (photo by Sayaka Matsuoka)

Three levels and nine rows of clothes tower in the 1,800 square-foot room that houses all the garments that the university has made, bought or collected over the years. According to Holroyd, 30-40 percent of the garments were made by students for the school’s productions.

She says having the students make the garments themselves gives them the necessary tools to take their craft into the real world after graduation. But the biggest challenge for her lately is that many students coming into the program don’t seem to know how to sew.

“They don’t have home ec anymore like they used to,” she says. “They come in completely, really unable to use their hands like past generations have been able to do. We are teaching them from the roots.”

She says that some of the students come into the program after watching shows like “Project Runway” or through cosplay. But Holroyd says that making pieces for theater is different than regular fashion.

“It’s not just crafty sewing,” she says. “We’re making garments that we hope get used in another production later. We’re not making pieces that just go down the runway.”

Jacquelyn Whiteside, a rising senior at UNCG, understands the difficulties that come with making garments for actors who will perform on stage.

“You’re designing for people with all body types,” Whiteside says. “And you have to understand that the pieces will move on stage.”

Whitehead, who is working on a bachelor’s degree in drama, is the lead costume designer for an upcoming production of Pippin, which opens in late September.

Sketches of Whiteside’s designs hang from a bulletin strip in one of the sewing rooms in the same building as the costume storage room.

Jacquelyn Whiteside’s sketches for Pippin hang on a bulletin strip in the design studio. (photo by Sayaka Matsuoka)

Bright-red leotards with stringy fringe for the women and dark trench coat outfits for the men give the characters color and life on paper.

“I love seeing student designers really pleased when a show is exactly how they imagined it,” Holroyd says. “Or even watching an actor all of a sudden find their character after putting on their costume. Sometimes they can’t fully become the character until they get their costume on.”

After the shows, Holroyd says some of the pieces get reused for other productions or are lent to other theaters in the area. They don’t rent or sell them to the public, however.

“If people want to see the pieces, they have to come see the shows,” she says.

Sydney de Briel, who graduated with an MFA from UNCG in 2016, now works as the resident costume designer for Barter Players, a program within the Barter Theater in Abingdon, Va.

“I like telling stories through colors and shapes and I didn’t know it could be a job until I got to college,” says de Briel, who started out as an actor. “What I was missing as an actor was the control over how the story was told. I think of costume design as a need to create an accurate first impression. Unlike a movie, people don’t really watch theater shows more than once so you have one shot to be as engaging as possible. Costume design does that in such a wonderful and tangible way.”

One of de Briel’s creations from her time at UNCG hangs on a mannequin at the front of the costume storage building. Bright-red fabric clings to the form, starting at the top with a bedazzled mock turtleneck and cascading all the way down to the floor where it pools like a puddle of lava. De Briel created the piece for the character of Sally Bowles in the school’s production of Cabaret a few years ago.

At any moment, the skin-tight dress looks like it might slip off the mannequin and begin dancing, strutting across the storage room floor, taking on the life and personality of Bowles — sensual, strange and self-willed.

And that’s what de Briel intended.

“While everyone knows clothes, costumes can be so much more,” she says.

UNCG School of Art represented in upcoming NC Museum of Art Exhibition

The North Carolina Museum of Art will be opening an exhibition of contemporary painting by two Art School Alumni; Ashlynn Browning and Carmen Neely as well as faculty member Barbara Campbell Thomas. The exhibition will open March 7, 2020 and run through June 21, 2020 in the Joyce W. Pope Gallery.

Front Burner: Highlights in Contemporary North Carolina Painting will feature 25 painters from throughout the state working in a variety of painting mediums and styles. Ashlynn Browning will be curating the exhibition.

Please see the North Carolina Museum of Art web page below for more information on the exhibition.


Garrett Klein Appointed Lecturer of Trumpet

The UNCG School of Music is pleased to announce that Garrett Klein has been appointed to the faculty as Lecturer of Trumpet for the 2019–20 academic year. “[The] UNCG School of Music is truly an institution of the highest caliber, and I am extremely humbled to be joining such a thriving community,” Klein said. “To say I’m looking forward to this opportunity is an understatement. I can’t wait to work with the incredible trumpet students, faculty, and staff at UNCG!”

Garrett Klein has performed across the United States and Asia as a soloist, chamber player, and orchestral musician. Garrett is currently a member of the Dallas Brass, an internationally recognized touring brass ensemble that has mastered a wide range of musical styles. In addition to offering breathtaking performances across the US, the Dallas Brass shows a unique commitment to music education by working with students of all ages while on tour.

Outside of touring with Dallas Brass, Garrett has been on faculty at St. Olaf and Gustavus Adolphus Colleges, where he coached the talented trumpet students and taught music theory. Klein appears regularly as a soloist, guest orchestral musician, and clinician. He has performed with the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass, The Phoenix Symphony, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra.

Coming from a family of educators, Garrett has an instinct for coaching young musicians. With Dallas Brass and as a solo presenter, Garrett has given clinics at high schools and colleges across the United States. His private students have been admitted to several of the finest music programs in the country, won awards, received substantial scholarships, and have been featured as soloists.

Garrett recently completed a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at Arizona State University, with a concentration in Music Theory Pedagogy. While at ASU, he served as the Graduate Teaching Assistant to the internationally recognized soloist and pedagogue David Hickman. His dissertation project centers around the recordings of sonatas by Brendan Collins, William Rowson*Christoph Nils Thompson*, and Luis Engelke* (*premiere recording).

Prior to living in Arizona, Garrett spent a year in Singapore. As a student at the prestigious Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, he studied trumpet with William Theis and conducting with Singapore Symphony associate conductor, Jason Lai. Garrett also taught privately through Partners in Brass, the country’s leading music education resource for brass students. As a freelance musician in Singapore, he was a featured soloist on the 2012 Singapore National Day Parade soundtrack, performed with Australian jazz legend James Morrison, along with many local orchestras. Garrett has been fortunate to take part in educational outreach trips in Singapore, as well as to Malaysia and Burma. While in Burma, he had the distinct honor of performing for the Burmese democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, at her famous estate.

Garrett received his Bachelor of Music degree from St. Olaf College in Minnesota, where he studied with Dr. Martin Hodel. It was at St. Olaf where Garrett met his wife, Mara, and together they discovered their passion for travel and the great outdoors.

Garrett Klein is an endorsing artist for Conn-Selmer and proudly performs on Vincent Bach trumpets.

Arts Administrators:  Connecting Art to an Audience

UNC Greensboro’s Arts Administration Program adds Museum Studies Concentration and New Faculty

There are many ways to live a life in the arts, and many of those ways are behind the scenes, sometimes WAY behind the scenes.  For every successful artistic experience, there is likely an arts administrator with a combination of creative passion and business sense, juggling a myriad of tasks to make it happen.

Now in its fifth year, the Arts Administration program at UNC Greensboro’s College of Visual and Performing Arts continues to fuel that field.  There are 47 alumni working in organizations like Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte, Burning Coal Theatre in Raleigh, NC Theatre in Raleigh, The Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, Florida Studio Theatre, and The Richmond Forum.

Current enrollment includes 117 majors and 37 minors in the program, and this year the program is adding an Art Museum Studies Concentration and hiring a highly experienced administrator and artist to help manage that area.

Director Hannah Grannemann says she’s thrilled to have Jennifer Reis join the CVPA.

“Jennifer brings vast professional and teaching experience in arts administration and arts entrepreneurship. She will be a valuable asset to our students, especially those interested in careers in art museums, galleries and starting their own ventures in the arts industry. Jennifer will be an important influence on the new Art Museum Studies Concentration and in the continued development of the Program.”

Jennifer Reis joins UNCG after 19 years at Morehead State University in Morehead, KY, where she was Gallery Director of the Golding-Yang Art Gallery, Coordinator and Faculty in the Arts Entrepreneurship & Administration Minor Program, and founder of the Morehead State University Arts and Humanities Council. For the past 13 years, she has also consulted and taught arts entrepreneurship and professional business practices for artists. Jennifer previously held positions at the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the Cave Run Rock n’ Blues n’ BBQ Festival. She holds an MA in Museum Studies from Syracuse University, an MA in Studio Art with an Art Education emphasis and a BFA in Studio Art from the Columbus College of Art & Design. Jennifer is also a practicing fiber artist, whose work can be seen at www.jenniferannreis.com.

Grannemann says the growth of the UNCG Arts Administration Program will enhance all areas of the CVPA.

“Many people ask me what Arts Administration is. I describe it as ‘business of the arts’. I also think of arts administration more broadly as making it possible for art and audiences to connect. The Arts Administration Program at UNC Greensboro provides education and training for an area of the arts with meaningful career paths and a significant number of employment opportunities for our graduates. With about 40% of Arts Administration majors also majoring in one of the Schools in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, an Arts Administration degree is an excellent complement to a fine arts or arts education degree.”

For more information about the UNC Greensboro Arts Administration program visit https://vpa.uncg.edu/home/arts-administration/