About

Laura McMillian was born on a beach in the part of Florida that should be Alabama.  As a young child she was introduced to the joys of sewing and fashion design by her mother who taught her how to sew and had an extensive collection of nylon track suits.  As a college student Laura assembled a group of artists known as the Rural Fashionistas to produce large-scale fashion shows which garnered Laura her first gallery show at Bare Hands Gallery in Birmingham, Alabama.  Soon after, Laura moved to New York.  There she was educated in fashion sketching and patternmaking at Parson’s School of Design, worked as a fashion assistant at Love Brigade where she ascertained the finer points of clothing manufacturing, and learned knit design and machine knitting working with Lars Andersson Knits and training at F.I.T. In May 2010 she collaborated with Brooklyn performance artist Narcissister, creating an installation, costume, and corresponding performance for BONZAI, a biannual exhibition held in Brooklyn, New York. She was also the costume designer for Narcissister’s large-scale winter of 2011 production “This Masquerade” at Abron’s Art Center. In March of 2011 Laura presented her large narwhal puppet that was handled by 5 people she costumed in handmade Victoriana for the Eris Art Parade in New Orleans. She has also been awarded a 2012 Brooklyn Arts Council Grant to create a collaborative installation with textile designer, Kristen Reger.  Laura is a regular performer at the Rubulad Art Collective in Brooklyn, New York as well as the Mudlark Public Theatre in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Her work can currently be seen at the Museum of Sex in New York, NY and at Marina 59 in Far Rockaway, NY.

Education

Bachelor of Fine Art Degree.  University of Montevallo.  Montevallo, AL.  2003.

Projects/ Exhibitions

2012  Upskirt.  Show featured five 9-foot-tall enterable dresses made of steel and fabric enclosing immersive installations.  Collaborative project with Kristin Reger.  Textile Arts Center.  Brooklyn, NY.

Crumb (the Hillbilly Kama Sutra Honey Moon Suite).  Created an installation/honeymoon suite from a decommissioned boat.  Boatel at Marina 59.  Far Rockaway, NY.

Open Fast.  Temporary immersive installation within a suitcase as part of Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art’s Experiment America.  Boston, MA.

Krewe du Nude Parade.  Organized an interactive neighborhood Mardi Gras parade featuring 40 artists in handmade nude suits.  New Orleans, LA.

O Quilt.  Collaborative piece for the Universe of Desire Exhibit at the Museum of Sex.  New York, NY.

2011  Snow Migration.  Created large-scale Narwhal costumes for a collaborative one-night performance piece.  Staten Island, NY.

Picnic Bone.  Costume-based performance piece featuring a skeleton copulating with picnic foods.  Mudlark Community Theatre’s Halloween Cabaret.  New Orleans, LA.

Poodle Bear Love Association.  Costume-based performance piece featuring a poodle that rips off its fur after copulating with a teddy bear.  Mudlark Community Theatre’s Mardi Gras Cabaret.  New Orleans, LA.

2010  Egyptian Shumba.  Costume-based performance piece featuring a mummy that strips to reveal enhanced sexual characteristics.  Mudlark Community Theatre’s Mardi Gras Cabaret.  New Orleans, LA.

Fur Taco Stand.  Performance piece and food stand created as collaboration with Narcissister for BANZAI!  Brooklyn, NY.

Residencies

Installation Artist in Residence.  Renovated and created an installation on a decommissioned boat as part of a floating hotel.  The Boatel at Marina 59.  Far Rockaway, NY.  2012.

Awards+Honors

Brooklyn Arts Council Grantee, 2012.

Commissions

Garment District Ghost Army.  Collaborated with 20 strangers in 2 hours sewing custom masks symbolizing the loss and devaluation of blue-collar workers in what was once known as New York City’s “Garment District” as part of the Fashion District Art Fair.  Commissioned by the Fashion Center.  New York, NY.  2012.

O Quilt.  Joint Commission for the Museum of Sex.   New York, NY.  2012.

Work Experience

Event Performer, Rubulad.  Brooklyn, NY.  2007-present.  Devise unique performances and one of a kind costumes based on differing themes for a monthly art party.

Costume Designer, This Masquerade.  Abron’s Art Center.   New York, NY.  2/11-19/2011.  Designed (along with Narcissister) costumes for Narcissister’s large-scale performance featuring 12 dancers and set pieces that transformed into clothing.

Commercial Costume Designer.  New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA.  2007-present.  Design and fabrication of costumes for commercial clients, including H&R Block, Subway, Century 21 Realty, Lenovo Computers and Verizon, as well as tailoring and repair for Ralph Lauren, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Elec­trolux, K-Mart, and Woolite. Celebrity clients include Kathy Griffin, Kelly Ripa, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Stacey London, and Derek Jeter.

Press

“Go Upskirt, Meet Hell”.  Marina Galperina, animalnewyork.com.  New York, NY.  9/21/2012.

“Inside Upskirt, a Collaborative Art Installation Opening in Brooklyn Next Week”.  John Del Signore, gothamist.com.  New York, NY.  11/20/2012.

“Scrapbooking with Tod—Big Freedia”.  Tod Seelie, vice.com.  New York, NY.  1/27/2012.

“Nightlife Top 5”.  Time Out New York.  4/14-20/2011.

“Laura McMillian Makes the Perfect (Rebellious) Housewife”.  Pauline Pechin, allthatwevemet.com.  New York, NY.  2/18/2011.

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