Akron sisters finalists in Cleveland Museum of Art competition


Cindy Wiswesser

Natalie and Nicole Wiswesser working on one of their projects.

By Michelle DeShon, Writer

Natalie and Nicole Wiswesser, students in the Myers School of Art, will have their artwork featured in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Made Surreal- A Fashion Design Competition. They are both full time students in the University of Akron’s Postsecondary program.

They will be modeling their creations at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s fashion show, MIX Couture, at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7. There were over 50 entries in the show. The sisters are two of 20 artists who were chosen to create surrealists fashions for Made Surreal.

Natalie’s piece, “Unsolicited Grope,” conveys the sense of “being trapped by an overwhelming existence.” She constructed a costume that has multiple arms that look like they are grabbing her body. Her sister Nicole chose the hands as a clever way to convey a feeling of being held down or constricted by something. Nicole said that she went through some trial and error in creating the piece.

Nicole looked to surrealist photography for inspiration. Her piece, “Inescapable Gloom,” represents a feeling of depression. She holds an umbrella to shield herself from an ominous storm. The storm clouds are placed inside of the umbrella.

“Despite any means of trying to protect herself, the storm, or in other words, her depression, will seemingly affect everything she does and follow her everywhere she goes, leaving her utterly drenched,” explained Nicole.

Mark Soppeland, professor of painting and drawing at the university, informed them about the upcoming competition in their foundation drawing class.

Soppeland recognized their potential and encouraged them to enter the competition.  He encourages all of his students to enter, but he felt that Natalie and Nicole were “one of few who were ambitious enough to do it.”

Natalie and Nicole both made a point to acknowledge Soppeland for the role he played in the process of working through problems each of them faced while creating their pieces.

Both artists are thrilled that their pieces will be presented in such a renowned museum.

“We are excited that our friends and the students from our art class at Akron will get to all experience it together and have a fun night at the art museum,” Nicole said.