September 18, 2019

Meet Brittany Kugler

By: Brittany Kugler

Hello everyone! My name is Brittany Kugler and I am a costume designer/stitcher and social practice artist based in Indianapolis and Ignite’s newest Maker in Residence! During my time in the makerspace I will be teaching classes on machine and hand sewing and working on personal projects like making and altering my own clothing.

In Indiana, I have designed costumes for the Phoenix Theatre, Indiana University-Kokomo, University of Indianapolis, Summit Performance Indianapolis, Cardinal Stage, Marian University, and Cathedral High School. I work at Cathedral High as their Costume Coordinator and love sharing her skill set with young people. I work a lot with high school and college aged people teaching machine and hand sewing, basic alteration skills, and costume history. These skills, especially alteration skills, can be very useful during their lives. Imagine being able to sew on your own loose button or hem a pair of pants before you’re 18! It is both empowering and, sometimes, a way for them to make a little extra money at their leisure.

I applied my passion for sewing and social nature to my masters degree in Social Practice Art from the University of Indianapolis (2018). Social practice is a way to create work closer or with an audience or community. I have since partnered with Big Car Collaborative and Garfield Park Arts Center to create free, arts based, public programming. You can see one of my favorite projects in the Ignite makerspace: Trench Coat Wayfinding. I designed and constructed a series of rain and trench coats that light up and have reflective tape designs called the Trench Coat Wayfinding project. These coats were first used during a May 2018 First Friday arts event to make crossing a busy street without a crosswalk safer for those attending the events. This project also shined a light on the several arts businesses in the area (The Tube Factory, Listen Hear, Garfield Park Arts Center, and two active and participatory installations) that attendees did not realize were all taking part in First Friday events. Attendees of First Friday were able to pick up and drop off the coats at The Tube Factory and the Garfield Park Arts Center. The light up and reflective quality not only made the wearers more visible but they became wayfinding of sorts as people walked through the park, from one building to another. The coats were most popular during the dusky portions of the evening. Through short, pocket questionnaires I was able to learn information, like how they found out about First Friday and what they came for, that I passed along to the participating businesses.

You can find more about me and the work I do on my website