Jarred Weinstein—a Wilmington artist who many locals may recognize from slinging beers at Flytrap Brewing—was visiting The Cargo District’s Queen Street Barbershop one afternoon and brought up the idea for an art exhibit he had once seen on Instagram: a jacket show. Queen Street owner Hayden Mingus told Weinstein he wanted his new business to host exhibits, so the two teamed up to bring ILM a similar concept.
“I thought it would be a great way to get some of Wilmington’s local artists together,” says Weinstein, who creates custom shirts and apparel. “I find it very appealing seeing how people choose to express themselves. My hopes with this show was to see how an everyday jacket could be utilized as a vessel for creative interpretation.”
A graduate of ECU’s art school, Weinstein has experience working in graphic design, and was a part of an agency that worked extensively with the craft beer market. Today he’s a freelance artist and screenprinter. A wholesale account through Weinstein’s Stray Goods Company provided the blank canvases for more than a dozen artists to display a wide array of work. On Thursday, tattoo artists, fine artists, commercial artists, screenprinters, fabricators, painters, chainstichers, metalsmiths and graphic designers will showcase their custom jackets. Weinstein also will hang his own jacket. “I will be utilizing some paint-and-needle work to create my custom piece,” he says.
Inspired by nature, artist Katherine Christian’s jacket art (a gun shooting out a bouquet of flowers) tips its hat to old-school nudie suits—flamboyant Western wear (sans the bedazzling), often seen on the likes of Gram Parsons and even Elvis Presley. Christian works in charcoal and graphite, but uses acrylic in her paintings. “My style is realism in any form,” she says. “I love capturing detail and taking the audience to a place of real connection with the subject.”
Primarily a potter, Colin Peterson focuses on bridging the gap between a jacket’s wearability and showcasing it as art. “I wanted them to both coalesce: to serve a function but to be appreciated from a visual standpoint.”
Peterson has worked in the arts for 17 years now. His jacket’s design is wild and abstract, full of color and splash-like techniques. His mixed-media work utilizes clay, paint and mason stains. The outcome evokes a a palette that looks like outer space, peppered with imagery of steampunk cranks and hexagonal grid patterns.
Nominated as encore’s best female artist 2020 (voting is open through March 20), Carleigh Sion has taken fabric art to another level. Traditionally, Sion has worked in watercolor, ink and pen, but this go round she utilizes rope and black paint to make her jacket stand out on its own.
“I created a textured panel that fills the whole back of the jacket and then created a bold but simple surf-inspired image in black ink,” Sion tells.
Sion’s thick, white rope swirls in a geographic design on the back of the khaki-colored jacket (see cover). Black lines create a female figure in a bikini, with branches and island-like illustrations surrounding her.
“The hardest part has been trying to make sure my style comes across loud and clear because the canvas jacket is definitely different than watercolor paper,” Sion says.
Illustrator and paper artist Emily Caulfield is blending her work in collage and surrealism. She usually works in pen, pencil, marker and sometimes paint. For this show she has leaned into a few of her normal themes—flora and fauna, sex and technology, gods and self.
“I wanted to go full ‘Project Runway’ with it,” she quips, “but the ideas got loftier and loftier. I ultimately want to make sure the jacket still looked like my style. You will see some of my most regular images in the jacket. I’m using pencil, paint, fabric, paper, thread.”
Self-taught, Caulfield has been immersed in the local arts scene for a few years now, popping up in shows at Luna Works and Coworx (the latter hosted by encore). She also does commissions.
“I never shared or sold my work until about three years ago, when I wasn’t working and needed to pay my rent,” she says. “I’m really astonished at the response and support I’ve gotten both locally and beyond. It still blows my mind when someone buys, frames and hangs a piece of my work in their home. It is the ultimate honor. Hopefully someone will buy this jacket, too!”
All pieces of art from “Jacket Art Show” will be for sale. Other artists include: Amanda Fox, Travis Fowler, Mark Weber, Jacob Venditti, Evan Weinstein, Ryan Capron, Moonshine Customs, Justin Michael Slay, Paul Tuorto, David Mercer, Trey Alber, Ruben Salazar, Dallas Thomas, Drew Susi and Hey TVM. The show gets under way on Thursday, February 27, 5 – 9 p.m., at the corner of Queen and 16th streets at Queen Street Barbershop. “Queen Street just felt right [as a venue],” Weinstein says. “Their style and lifestyle go with this concept perfectly and their space is epic. I also love what they are doing for the community and hope this isn’t the last thing we collaborate on.”