Lucy Gentry Meltzer: Biophilia Collection at Salon Refu

by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS

Artist and costume designer Lucy Gentry Meltzer is the next artist whose works will grace the interior of Salon Refu Galley. Described as couture or as sculptural dresses, Meltzer’s art is unlike anything commonly seen in galleries.

People who frequent Salon Refu will recognize her as one of the women who help run that gallery when owner Susan Christian isn’t there. Christian describes her as “the one with the red hair and beautiful smile who’s helped keep our doors open four days every week for almost four years.” Christian goes on to say, “This is a truly original show, with no tchotchkes, only extraordinary, large, sculptural presences.”

Meltzer’s art looks like dresses on a dressmaker’s dummy, in some cases like feminine armor or costumes for a period drama. “Nature is the locus of ideas and concepts for my figures and sculptural dresses,” the artist explains. “My figures incorporate both natural materials and street flotsam gathered where I found beauty in unexpected places. As an artist, my choices of materials are informed by the basics: shape, color, size and texture. I re-form my collected objects into unconventional beauties, mythological figures, heroic women. I incorporate visual elements from traditional cultures from around the world, informed by my background in theater and fashion. I aim to reconnect people with nature to remind all of us of earth’s fragile treasures and to rally us to support planet-healing practices.”

Christian says, “Biophilia Collection celebrates the patterns and textures of our environment and the glory of the female ability to carry off grand costumes.”

Meltzer has a master’s degree in theater design from Brandeis University. She has assisted costume designer Patricia Zipprodt in the design of several Broadway shows, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Fiddler on the Roof and Shogun. Locally, she’s designed costumes for Cyrano de Bergerac, Fighting Over Beverly, Forever Stardust, Hedda Gabler, Inspecting Carol, The Misanthrope, and Sins of the Mother at Harlequin Productions. She says her influences include Milena Canonero, Marita Dingus, Alexander McQueen and Julie Taymor.

What: Lucy Gentry Meltzer: Biophilia Collection

Where: Salon Refu,
114 Capitol Way N, Olympia

When: 2-6 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays and by appointment, through April 23

How much: free

Learn more: 360-280-3540 | Facebook

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