Catlin Gabel student wins national competition for costume design

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Press Release

Jul 12, 2006

For Immediate Release

Contact: Nadine Fielder

503-297-1894, ext. 301

Catlin Gabel student wins national competition for costume design

PORTLAND, ORE: Catlin Gabel student Claire Stewart recently won first place in costume design at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska, after she captured top honors in the state competition. Stewart, who will be a senior in the fall, competed against 15 other students who had all won first place at their state level. Stewart won for her costume designs for characters in the play Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen. The festival brought together 2,500 students from across the nation.

Stewart has been sewing costumes since she was a young girl. In middle school she took sewing classes and learned how to construct clothing. In her sophomore year at Catlin Gabel she took an independent costume class and together with another student costumed the musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, with a cast of 53 people. She credits Catlin Gabel theater teacher Robert Medley with motivating her to enter the state and national competitions.

"I have always been fascinated with every medium and aspect of art,” says Stewart. “Costume design is an exciting form of art because you have to combine several elements in order to create a complete and intriguing product. There are many things that go into a design beyond the first appearance: there is the color and relationship with other characters colors. You have to understand the metaphors and symbols within the play and reflect them through the textures, colors, lines, and styles. It was interesting, because in the first part of the design process, I actually used more skills that I learned in English class through writing essays and taking the play completely apart. I love to design and construct my own patterns and clothing, and enjoyed the challenge of combining several different types of art into one project.

"As for my future plans, art continues to drive me, where it will take me is uncertain as of now. Costuming will definitely play a part in my college career, but I enjoy the uncertainty of what Ill become when I grow up theres so many things I have yet to discover. "


Catlin Gabel School is an independent, coeducational day school dedicated to academic excellence, individualized attention, multiculturalism, and lifelong learning. Situated on a 54-acre wooded campus in Portland, Oregon, Catlin Gabel offers its 700 students an enriched curriculum blending science, math, humanities, the arts, athletics, and a strong sense of community to students in preschool through twelfth grade. The school is fully accredited, and is independently governed by a board of trustees as a nonprofit institution without tax support or religious affiliation.

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