The Art of Denim

Kara standing in Peter Russell Rock Garden in Nadine Simec’s butterfly design

Question number one: Have you by any chance seen someone with extra-large holes in her jeans on campus? 

Question number two: Were you surprised to notice that she had some interesting art adorning those holes and think to yourself, “Wow, that’s pretty neat?”

If you were lucky enough to see this art display in real life, you need to know that it’s the LEGGallery, created by third-year Anthropology and Fine Arts major, Kara Van Muyen.  And get this: It was all inspired by an inside joke.

The Fine Arts community always joked about how big the holes were in Kara’s favourite pair of thrifted jeans. Eventually, she cracked a joke about how she should display art in them. But being the Fine Arts students they are, they ended up taking her wisecrack seriously, and brainstorming all of the designs they could display. So, Kara decided to make it a personal project throughout the school year, displaying different artists’ works on her legs on campus for a day. Then, she would post a record of that action on Instagram, and turn it into a piece of photographic art.

“The LEGGallery is an interesting combination of ephemeral performance art and immortal digital art,” Kara says. “I take submissions for my gallery through direct messages on Instagram, Facebook or in person. I also approach people and ask them if they'd like to show in the Gallery. I mainly look for unique approaches to art, since installing art on my legs is a unique way to display art.”

For both Kara and the artists, the LEGGallery has become a creative exercise. It challenges them to approach art in a unique way, while also merging it with aspects of everyday life.  They take art out of its safe white-walled context of a typical gallery and place it in a very human one instead.

“I spend the day in my classes, talking with friends and studying. There is something wonderful about taking something I work so fervently on behind the closed doors of East Campus Hall, and have it walking around with me when I leave. Sometimes as students it is easy to feel like the work we produce, for any class in any program, lives only in that context. The LEGGallery is a way to make that context expand pass the classroom and into the real world.”

Mikayla Barney’s design of mountains and ocean


See more photos of the exhibits and keep following Kara’s project @_leggallery on Instagram.

For more stories featuring Arts students like Kara, check out the Arts tag on the UWaterloo Life blog.

  1. 2018 (5)
    1. January (5)
  2. 2017 (62)
    1. December (3)
    2. November (7)
    3. October (7)
    4. September (4)
    5. July (4)
    6. June (7)
    7. May (7)
    8. April (3)
    9. March (8)
    10. February (7)
    11. January (5)
  3. 2016 (73)
    1. December (2)
    2. November (5)
    3. October (6)
    4. September (6)
    5. August (4)
    6. July (6)
    7. June (8)
    8. May (9)
    9. April (6)
    10. March (9)
    11. February (7)
    12. January (5)
  4. 2015 (65)
    1. December (5)
    2. November (6)
    3. October (3)
    4. September (4)
    5. August (4)
    6. July (4)
    7. June (5)
    8. May (6)
    9. April (5)
    10. March (9)
    11. February (7)
    12. January (7)
  5. 2014 (88)
    1. December (3)
    2. November (8)
    3. October (9)
    4. September (8)
    5. August (4)
    6. July (9)
    7. June (8)
    8. May (9)
    9. April (7)
    10. March (8)
    11. February (7)
    12. January (8)
  6. 2013 (38)
    1. December (4)
    2. November (8)
    3. October (10)
    4. September (8)
    5. August (8)