Costumes and Prints Bring “CandyCoated Wonderland” to Life

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“CandyCoated Wonderland” is a whimsical installation of costumes and prints straight from the imagination of Philadelphia-based artist Candy Coated (’97 MFA Ceramics), formerly Candy Depew.

Candy was invited by the Philadelphia Museum of Art two and a half years ago to begin a project reinterpreting children’s dress costumes from the Museum’s collection.

“I was honored to be asked because I just couldn’t believe that they would let me do whatever I wanted to highlight the costumes and integrate them in, and I was able to make a contemporary, yet historical period style room which is a wonderland,” Candy said.

The colorful installation blends Candy Coated’s silk-screened fabrics and wall decals with costumes that range from a Peter Pan costume flying from the ceiling to nurse costumes on children’s figures surrounded in a room of cats printed on pillows

“The most awesome part was being able to do the huge ink drawing on the wall because the walls are fresh and beautiful and new, and to be able to do a large drawing like that, directly on the wall, was pretty awesome,” Candy said. “Also, being able to have it in the parkway in one of the museum’s buildings is an honor, too, because I actually starting out working there in installation. So for me to actually have my own installation about ten years later is quite a nice thing.”

As a student at Tyler, Candy valued the people that she got to work with, both the classmates that would later become her colleagues and her professors.

“My teacher, Nick Kripal, brought me to Philadelphia. I’d like to thank him because the interview I had with him for grad school went so nicely and he was such a cool, intelligent person. A true teacher personality is what attracted me the most coming to [Tyler], so I thank him for bringing me to Philly,” Candy said.

Staying in Philadelphia after graduating and having the reputation from attending Tyler really helped Candy become the artist and cultural entrepreneur that she is today.

In addition to having her work displayed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Candy hosts exhibitions and films screenings from internationally based artists and designers at her studio, CandyCoated Center.

“I just love having my own studio, I just always have made that a priority and sometimes I wouldn’t necessarily have a place to live, but I would have a studio. So I’d house sit or go to residencies and things like that, and part of your residency deal is that they always give you a studio and a place to stay. So I am never without a studio,” Candy said.

Coming up, Candy will be working with the Spirit Tour for Design Philadelphia, designing wallpaper, doing silk-screen demos at the Art Market at Tyler, and working with Little Baby’s Ice Cream to develop an ice cream flavor.

“CandyCoated Wonderland” can be viewed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Perelman Building in the Joan Spain Studio until November 17.

For more information about “CandyCoated Wonderland,” visit http://www.philamuseum.org/exhibitions/785.html

To learn more about Candy and her upcoming projects, visit http://www.candycoated.org/

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