Clothes: Minded and Repurposed
Isabel Varela

Sustainable multidisciplinary artist Isabel Varela will host her second solo art exhibition, Clothes: Minded and Repurposed, exposing audiences to the dangers of waste and excess in the fashion industry and how her personal experiences helped shape her current position as a passionate environmental activist. Clothes: Minded and Repurposed is a follow up to Varela’s debut solo art exhibit, Clothes: Minded, which ran in 2018 at the Caelum Gallery in NYC. The event featured Varela’s work alongside like-minded sustainable artists, working together to captivate the reality of wasteful fashion and what we as a community can do to help improve things.

Clothes: Minded and Repurposed will build on her 2018 concept, highlighting fashion industry malpractices and sharing a variety of initiatives people can take to voice their support. The exhibit will feature mixed media pieces centered on these concepts, including: two 10-foot sculptures, three 60 x 60 inch mixed media works, and seven 40 x 40 inch mixed media paintings.

“The art that I create is not just for viewing. It is for the audience to participate in and to be part of the artwork, allowing everyone who enters the doors to leave feeling empowered with a new sustainable activity to implement into their lifestyle,” Varela said.

“All of my work is created through upcycled textile fabrics, acrylic paints, and various objects such as foam core and plastics. I create large-scale artwork to amplify the amount of textile waste that goes to our landfills, and utilize vibrant colors to represent the destruction of the fashion industry, including land degradation, toxic chemicals entering waterways, ocean pollution, erosion, and fires.”

Varela’s main inspiration for the exhibit is her personal experience. She takes this space and opportunity to turn her pain, shame, and guilt into a powerful learning tool for others to help them transform and heal – which, in turn, heals our planet.

About the Artist: 

Isabel Varela began her career as a fashion designer in her mid-twenties, intent on becoming a global sensation when reality caused her dreams to come crashing down. Varela was drowning in $100K debt due to her crippling fashion addiction: a rock-bottom moment that forced her to reimagine her place in the world. Today, she is a sustainably-minded designer, artist, advocate, keynote speaker, and life coach, utilizing her platform to help others hang up their addiction and tap into the only solution to self-destructive behavior – self-love. As a multidisciplinary artist and named Changemaker of the Year through the New York City Fair Trade Coalition, she aims to build a like-minded community to share her experiences with, educate, and help restructure how society interacts with the fashion world one mindful step at a time.

She has partnered up with well-known non-profits in New York City to engage and educate the community through her sustainable art activations, including DonateNYCSanitation Foundation, New York City Fair Trade Coalition, and the Horticultural Society of New York. Her work was selected to showcase at the West Harlem Arts along with the CCCD (Centro Civico Cultural Dominicano)

For more information about Isabel visit her website and follow her on Instagram.

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