a national juried wearable art event - coming sept 2019

Where the worlds of contemporary art, fashion, and craft collide, there is Uncommon Thread. Showcasing exceptional design and artistry through wearable art, Uncommon Thread is a national juried art event and competition. It is dedicated to being a unique platform for artists and designers to present their work and giving audiences a one-of-a-kind visual experience with this exciting art form.

Baton Rouge Gallery - center for contemporary art (“BRG”) is honored to give this program - originally presented by Culture Candy (2007 - 2015) - new life and bring it to BRG and BREC’s City Park this Fall with an eye towards the future. Since its founding, Uncommon Thread has been synonymous with innovative presentations of wearable art, working with design professionals, choreographers, dancers, make up artists, stylists, and musicians. Over the years, over 200 works of wearable art from across the country have walked this unconventional runway (including those pictured above).

We are currently accepting submissions from all U.S. based artists for Uncommon Thread: Essomenia, taking place at BRG on Saturday, September 21, 2019. Scroll down for more details on this year’s theme, prize monies to be awarded, and submission guidelines.

Uncommon Thread’s 2019 Theme: ‘Essomenia’

Uncommon Thread has traditionally asked designers to focus their work on a specific theme, typically one that plays off of the mission, character, and feel of its presentation venue. This tradition continues with this year’s competition.

Contemporary art, in many ways, often has its eye on the future, even when exploring the present. With this in mind, we are proud to announce the theme for 2019’s Uncommon Thread is “Essomenia,” an 18th century term meaning “to show things as they will be in the future.”

We invite designers and artists to make the unimaginable tangible (and wearable) while setting their sights on the world that lies ahead. Whether inspired to look 20 years down the road or 200 years into the future, Uncommon Thread wants to know what you foresee. How might technology, the environment, the political climate, interpersonal relations, or other realities change or impact other changes? What might be commonplace for our great-grandchildren that most can’t even fathom today? Can your “essomenic” design simultaneously tell us something about our collective today and our tomorrow?

BRG would like to thank Uncommon Thread’s sponsor: Kjell Flanagan

Interested in learning about details on the benefits of sponsorship? Contact Ronell Johnson


Uncommon Thread is open to artists of all media across the United States, ages 18 and over, through a blind submission process. Uncommon Thread’s Special Guest Juror (more on that in a moment) will not be made aware of the name(s), hometown, ages, or any other information for any submitting artist/designer (or team of artists/designers); thus allowing for an equal playing field for artists in any stage of their career.

All artists/designers chosen as finalists will have their selected work(s) featured during the Uncommon Thread event at BRG on September 21, when one standout piece will be named Best in Show and awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

Submission Deadline: August 1, 2019
Submission Fee: $30 per artist/team for up to three works

Details on submitting work for Uncommon Thread: Essomenia can be downloaded here (PDF).

Special Guest Juror

Past jurors for Uncommon Thread have included former Vera Wang designer Suzanne Perron, Garments of Paradise author and art historian Susan Ryan, sculptor Loren Schwerd, Fiber Arts Magazine editor Liz Good, and fashion designer Anthony Ryan Auld.

In 2019, BRG is proud to have one of wearable art’s most exciting American artists, Grace DuVal, serving as Special Guest Juror for Uncommon Thread: Essomenia.

Grace DuVal

Based in Chicago, IL, Grace DuVal is a wearable artist, maker, and photographer. Her wearable art designs have been featured in exhibits both across the U.S. and internationally, most recently at World of WearableArt in Wellington, NZ (where her Mind the Synaptic Gap won the 2018 Dame Suzie Moncrieff Award; and a year earlier, DuVal’s work was named Supreme Award Runner-Up and received the Sustainability Award).

She has also collaborated on projects with Game of Thrones, Disney, Hot Topic, and Her Universe and had her work featured in Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, Paper Magazine, Bustle, Jezebel, HelloGiggles, and beyond.

DuVal is also a two-time Uncommon Thread participant and took home Best in Show honors in 2015.

Learn more about Grace DuVal here

Have more questions about Uncommon Thread? Send us an email

Mark your calendar now for Uncommon Thread: Essomenia at BRG on Sept 21, 2019