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Clothing defines who we are\, where we are from\, our sta tus\, station\, and activity.  An imprint of our history resides in its fib ers.  Narratives also abound\; stories connecting us to people\, places\, a nd activities\, some personal\, some public\, some ceremonial.  Piecing tog ether garments\, one begins to formulate an integration of stories-a book\, an anthropological reading of a temporary gathering of people.-Edith A beyta\, from her installation\, Me\, You\, Us

Clothing is our second skin\, our face we show to the world. Whether we are slaves t o fashion\, imaginative or simply oblivious\,  unCommon threads < /b>is a gathering of artists\, all of whom tell tales\, both cultural and p ersonal\, using garments and their structures as the framework.   Some repo rt the consequences of particular actions while others deconstruct and exam ine myths and mores.  El Camino College Art Gallery is delighted to host th is assembly of 12 Southern California artists in an exhibition that promise s to be as varied as the artists are numbered.

·     Lesli e Batty’s paintings explore the ways in which many societal systems see k to construct and constrain our ideas of identity and sexuality. She plays upon the ironies of how we invent ourselves within the context of history and culture.
The lace and gossamer of Susan Connell’s images i n acrylic on linen\, weave tales of ghostly joys and sorrows. Fallen Bir d depicts the grief for a life unlived\, a torso dressed in delicate 19 th Century tatting.
·     Joyce Dallal and Lauren Kasmer collaborate in A Homesite Clothing Exchange\, where the public is invited to barter or exchange a wearable item. Each participant is asked to write a short tag explaining why they are trading their item and wh y they selected a particular item from the racks and display        units t hat comprise the installation.  An active clothing exchange will take place during the reception\, 3/31\, 7-9 pm and again on 4/5\, from 1-3 pm and 4/ 28\, 1-3 pm.
The handbags and deconstructed-dress pattern pieces of < b>Dawn Ertl
are made almost entirely of plastic bags with printed logos .  Ertl examines the relationship of producer\, consumer and disposer\, str iving to create of use and longevity from products designed for limited lif espan and disposal.
·     Victoria May uses fabric and stitchi ng as the basis for mixed media sculptures reflect a meticulous craft ethic . She incorporates evocative materials –human hair\, leaves and sand within the folds of transparent garments as vehicles for metaphor of human condit ions.
·     Compelling ceramic armor in the guise of feminine lingeri e is the subject of Power\, Culture\, Icons\, by Russell McMillin . Herein the artist reflects on the human search for self-awareness in relationship to acquisition of power.
·     Michael Lewis Miller < /b>draws upon early American history for the cultural roots of his performa nce-sculpture Pharmacognosy. From his ongoing series\, Psycho Phy sical Prosthetic Wardrobe\, in which handcrafted furniture pieces doubl e as garments and expressions of psychological states\, this traveling apot hecary cabinet supplies medicine and magic.
·     Tightly Bound\, a video by Rachel J. Siegel\, utilizes her memory as a 7 year ol d girl\, playing dress-up with a pair of Chinese bound-foot slippers. These tiny slippers that fit her 7 year-old foot become the vehicle for cross-cu ltural examination of the history of women’s beauty/torture rituals.
·     Suzanne Siegel carefully assembles and arranges items of perso nal clothing from departed relatives and friends\, creating artworks that a re simultaneously personal and universal.  Desire and Despair\, two pieces\, made from women’s slips are adorned with objects ranging fr om razor blades to flowers.
·     Fairfax Ladies by Robin Valle are large format Cibachrome images of dresses gleaned from thrift stores in the Fairfax area of Los Angeles where she lived.  Valle was a pi oneer in the area of digital photography and was employed as faculty at El Camino College until she died in 2008.
·     Nancy Youdelman c reates sculpture using both found objects and bronze.  She transforms actua l clothing with discards such as used buttons\, anonymous photos\, forgotte n correspondence\, leaves and dried flowers.  It is her desire to suggest t he fleeting\, beautiful yet bittersweet nature of our existence in sometime s disquieting\, artworks that offer homage to the distant past.

DTEND:20110429 DTSTAMP:20140923T231229 DTSTART:20110328 GEO:33.8844615;-118.3267305 LOCATION:El Camino College Art Gallery\,16007 Crenshaw Blvd. \nTorrance\, C A 90506 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:unCommon Threads\, Marshall Astor\, Leslie Batty\, Susan Connell\, Joyce Dallal\, Dawn Ertl\, Lauren Kasmer\, Lauren M. Kasmer\, Victoria May\ , Russell McMillin\, Michael L. Miller\, Toti O'Brien\, Rachel Siegal\, Suz anne Siegal\, Rachel Siegel\, Robin Valle\, Nancy Youdelman UID:155512 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20110331T210000 DTSTAMP:20140923T231229 DTSTART:20110331T190000 GEO:33.8844615;-118.3267305 LOCATION:El Camino College Art Gallery\,16007 Crenshaw Blvd. \nTorrance\, C A 90506 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:unCommon Threads\, Marshall Astor\, Leslie Batty\, Susan Connell\, Joyce Dallal\, Dawn Ertl\, Lauren Kasmer\, Lauren M. Kasmer\, Victoria May\ , Russell McMillin\, Michael L. Miller\, Toti O'Brien\, Rachel Siegal\, Suz anne Siegal\, Rachel Siegel\, Robin Valle\, Nancy Youdelman UID:155513 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR