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Oct. 9, 2012/For Immediate Release (Photo attached)

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu




WINSTON-SALEM – A college sophomore studying costume design and technology in the School of Design and Production at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) is a semifinalist in a national Halloween costume design contest. “Ice Cream Girl,” designed by Sarah Gray, from Jacksonville, Fla., is one of 12 costumes chosen by HalloweenCostumes.com.

On Wednesday, designers for the company in North Mancato, Minn., will announce as finalists three costumes that will be auctioned online through Oct. 19. The costume that receives the highest bid will win $2,000 for its designer, plus proceeds from the auction. The second- and third-place designers will receive $1,000 and $500, respectively.

Gray, who competed with more than 100 costume and fashion design students and professionals, said her love of ice cream inspired her design. “I collect ice cream stuff,” she said, adding that a section of her kitchen is devoted to ice cream. “A year ago, I started looking online for an ice cream dress, and I couldn’t find anything.”

Ice Cream girl

Gray learned about the contest during the summer from Christine Turbitt, director of the Costume Design and Technology Program in the School of Design and Production, who passed along an email notice. “I had two weeks until the deadline to enter my sketch,” Gray said.

Company staff selected 12 semifinalists based on the sketches, and each designer was given $300 to create the costume.  Gray’s design features a skirt that resembles a waffle cone, a strawberry pink striped bodice trimmed in what appears to be hot-fudge sauce, and accessories that look like nuts, cherries and whipped cream.  It’s a bit of departure for Gray, whose favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla. “I’ve always liked vanilla. I don’t like chocolate, and no cherries,” she said.

Turbitt expressed pride in her student’s work.  “She had to push herself pretty hard to get this done along with all her class and production projects,” Turbitt said.

“In terms of the design, this is an extension of what we teach – let your curiosity and imagination lead you but know your audience,” Turbitt said. “This is a costume intended for commercial sales purposes, and one that would appeal to her age group.  In terms of technology, while the skill sets she has been working on for more than a year certainly were used, she had to make a big leap in her patterning ability.”

Gray said she will apply any winnings toward her tuition.

Go to www.halloweencostumes.com/contest/costume-design-bidding.aspx to see the costume designs.

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.