Wearable Art Journey | An Interview with Donna Caselden

Wearable Art Journey | An Interview with Donna Caselden by Jacqueline Ganim-DeFalco

Donna Caselden moved to Cape Ann from Andover and in five short years has exploded in her artistic endeavors. We now see her works on the runway, on the walls, and on tables.   Enjoy a deep-dive with Donna on her exciting journey.

What was your artistic/creative journey before doing wearable art?

I’ve always been interested in art and design. Growing up, my most memorable project in middle school was my science fair animation project. In college, though my major was Economics, what I really loved was my animation class.  In hindsight, I should have majored in art! After my formal education, I took many design and art classes at local universities and schools. When my kids were older, I started a home staging business, where I could use my design skills.

How did you first learn about the opportunity to create and show wearable art?

I first read about the 2011 Celebrate Wearable Art runway show and thought it looked amazing.  Then, when I saw the article a few years later asking for submissions, I thought it sounded challenging but would be fun and was also encouraged by my neighbors in Annisquam who had been involved.

What did you make for the show and what challenges did you encounter?

Metal Mermaid, CWAII, 2013 modeled by Gina Caselden

My first design, the Metal Mermaid, went through a ton of transformations (as does all of my artwork – whether it be wearable art, paintings, or decorating). I had to figure out a way to cut soda cans into uniform pieces. Researching the web, I found a punch that worked perfectly. While making the dress, my biggest disasters were getting cut, getting burned (adhering the metal with the hot glue gun!), and figuring out a way for the model to be able to move in the dress!

How did your art pieces evolve and lead you into other artistic directions or opportunities?

Biker Chic by Donna Caselden, CWAIII, 2015

Since my first wearable art piece, I’ve made three other dresses (Biker Chic I and II, out of bicycle gears, chains and tires and The Penny Dress, out of hundreds of pennies), many pieces of jewelry, some sculpture and many paintings. I’ve joined a few art organizations (Cape Ann’s Experimental Art Group

Painting turned to wearable art piece for the NAA

at Rockport Art Association, Society for Encouragement of Arts (seARTS), the Rocky Neck Art Colony, and the National Association of Women Artists (NAWA), been accepted into art shows, and was even invited to help decorate the White House for Christmas.  I’ve also submitted my wearable art pieces to other runway events (ManneqArt, a show

Obselecents, CWA IV 2017 by Donna Caselden

incorporating sculpture on the human form, and The Day Art Met Fashion at Newburyport Art Association, where the image of one of my paintings was selected to be transferred onto clothing and is available

Psychosis

for purchase at a Newburyport boutique, The Elephant’s trunk.

Looking ahead, one of my paintings, Psychosis, was selected to be a part of Artcetera 2018, an art auction to benefit AIDS Action Committee, this October at The Castle at Park Plaza in Boston.