Wonder Dress

To any American born in the second half of the 20th century, childhood lunchtime favorites (peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese or that very special baloney sandwich) all began with that bag on the kitchen counter with the big red, yellow and blue dots labeled WONDER. That WONDER bread bag was the magical source of the “best” foods in the whole wide world. Years passed, but the sight of those red, yellow and blue dots on a white background (a billboard, a TV ad, in the store) always, for a split second, conjured up those special days. 

When challenged to develop “a collection of something”, it was as if Macy’s 4th of July firework-like lights went off in my head. As a child, I always had a passion to do some “thing” with that WONDER Bread bag concept. Now, the smiles of my childhood WONDER (big, red, yellow, blue dots) exploded in my mind. From  Wonder Bread to Wonder Woman, to little girl wonder, to a wonder-filled gown, to a wonderful  WONDER BREAD gown… that would be only the beginning of my WONDER  collection.

I knew from its inception that the concept was solid, but as so often happens, the difficulties are in the doing.  I’m not a fashion designer. My expertise lies in graphic design, where placement, use and positioning of the graphic elements are the critical factors. The labor-intensive work of this part of the discipline is full of repeated trials and errors until each piece and in this instance, each bag is placed at the right position, the right drape, the right angle.

Searching for enough WONDER BREAD bags to graphically design and build the gown, plus other accessories, was a daunting task. (You have no idea how much they charge for loaves of stale bread!  on eBay, or Google.) And I would need lots and lots and lots of bags.

Through the wonder of the Internet, my emails to Flower Foods, LLC (current owner of WONDER BREAD) asking for  help sourcing (hopefully) inexpensive bags landed in the in-box of  Ms. Tammy Armitage  (Flower Foods Purchasing Agent). In three days she had connected me to Ms. Sherry Harper of Flower Foods Marketing Department and the bags were at my door.

My workspace, living room, plus every other corner of my home became littered with Wonder Bread bags, enabling me to produce not only the WONDER gown, but accompanying necklace, ring and parasol,  just in case of an evening sprinkle.

My thanks to Kingsborough Community College President Stuart Suss and Director of Public Relations Ruby Ryles for their  support in allowing this gallery resentation. Great thanks to Ms. Armitage, Ms. Harper and Flower Foods, LLC for providing support, encouragement and these bags of WONDER.


New York Book - Kite

Vintage WWII US Military Rescue Equipment M-357-A Rectangular Box Kite

During the Second World war, the English and American bombers were equipped with survival equipment to contribute to the recovery of the men fallen at sea. A kite was a survival equipment distributed to the American aviators before their missions. Referred to the number M357 a by the American army, it is more popularly called “Gibson Girl”.The instructions noticed on the radio and on the kite were very clear.According to the  weather conditions, the operator used either the balloon or the kite, which had as a function to support the antenna of the radio of distress. Several crews of bombers could be thus recovered and saved.In 1944, the bombers of the Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Army had this equipment, with Gibson Girl on board.Manufactured by the company of aeronautics Bendix Limited Aviation in Hollywood, the whole of parceling was of an excellent manufacture.


Philly Book - License Plates

Remnants of Philadelphia

Philadelphia is all about history, change and what cultures have left behind. Haunted by the age, the number of years of this city being a city, the very “oldness” of what is left brought my visions to the visible signs and then the remnants of signage left by succeeding years. It’s as if, as in days gone by, you’ve gotten into the car gone all around the city and gathered these similar elements into one bound experience. The 1927 license plate is just another image, another remnant of Philadelphia. 


New York Book - Scroll


A photographer and native New Yorker my inclination led first to the International Center of Photography (ICP) and then to the Museum of the City of New York. These two institutions and the captivating exhibits on Louis Hine, JFK and the work of Janet Ruttenberg forced me to take a thought provoking stroll. Yes, the techniques employed were interesting and yes, the content compelling. But did the technique make the content important or the content make the technique unique? Is it the marriage of the two? Does a great graphic design “make” the subject; or a great subject “make” the design? 


New york book -Time in a Bottle

Everyone (scientists, mystics, sci-fi writers, saints and gurus] have theorized and debated about time. Are these bottles memories and remembrances; alternative realities tucked in a fabric of time or a way of communicating a message here and now or from a far, far way place?

My bottles - are they just a designers, experimental collection of the here and now (the places and people we met) or are they a metaphor of an artists’ 2 year cumulative works? Truthfully, I don’t know. A definitive answer is somewhereout there. What I do know is that it’s not easy to cut a glass bottle, especially one that is old and has been knocked around for a while. The chemical mixtures of silicone, heat, oxygen become fragile, delicate and have to be treated with kindness and respect (sort of like New York City). I also know/realize that New York does not begin or end with any single event (the Dodgers leaving; the Jets moving to Secaucus, the Triangle garment fire, the 1863 draft riots, 9/11 or even Hurricane Sandee).

What I know is that in the “here and now” each bottle is a moment’s representation. In the beginning of “this time” as a 2012 MFA MARYWOOD MFA candidate loomed before me with both I felt excitement and trepidation. Now, as the weeks and days move inexorably toward the end, I only try [like so many times before] to visually capture, communicate and hold this moment in time.