Richmonders love to rep their city in any way possible, and New Normal Apparel is giving local artists and designers an opportunity to do just that by hostin
Richmonders love to rep their city in any way possible, and New Normal Apparel is giving local artists and designers an opportunity to do just that by hosting their second annual RVA Design competition.
Co-owner Walker Wood said the competition is a way to form relationships with local artists and a give them a platform to get their name and work into the public arena.
“We wanted to create this competition that gets the community involved and gets more artists knowing about the options they have when working with us,” she said.
Submissions are still coming in. Online voting starts Wednesday night (tonight!) on the competition website and will continue until August 21.
New Normal sells clothing and accessories made from locally sourced and produced, sustainable materials.
They also collaborate with local artists and makers by selling some of their wares. The company features a different artist every month on their clothing. “We put their designs on shirts and then they get a gallery show in our space, and they get 15 percent of every shirt sale,” Wood said.
“We want to be a little platform for a lot of new artists that are emerging and need a place to sell their stuff,” she said. “We really want to make their stuff accessible to other people.”
Submitting artists are encouraged to center their design on their personal connection to Richmond. New Normal’s featured artists do a Richmond themed shirt as one of their designs, so the theme fits with New Normal’s usual approach.
Wood says the theme works for them because of their local business model and the intimate connection locals have with Richmond.
“I think people have a lot of pride that live here,” Wood said. “Richmond is a little city, but it’s got a big heart.”
“Everybody has their favorite restaurant, their favorite park or their favorite thing to do. People love to represent their city.”
The winning design will be revealed the evening of August 29 at Gallery 5. Wood says the event will host a full fashion show, three bands and a collection of local vendors near the entrance.
“We really want the final reveal to be a fun night where a lot of people that voted can come out and see the winner,” Wood said. “You can shop, you can have a drink, you can listen to music.”
The winner will be featured on New Normal’s site this January and display their work in a solo show. “They also win a couple other local prizes,” she said. “And we’re giving everyone that submitted a couple of small prizes, too, as a thanks for submitting.”
Wood says she loves the competition because it’s exciting to connect with all the new Richmond artists.
“It’s just so cool with this competition, how many people actually go out and submit their designs,” she said. “Being able to see what the community is interested and what design actually wins,” is a thrill.
“I just love giving a local artist the opportunity to have their own solo show and actually make a profit off of their design that represents their connection to the city,” she said.
Voting just started, so head on over to the competition’s website http://rvadesigncompetition.com/ to check out all the designs from your local artists and cast your vote!
Alternatively, keep up with the competition on Facebook.