Dogs and Dresses


Posted Wed, May 1, 2013


GREAT CREATIONS: Artist Nancy Youdelman sculpts antique dresses into unique works of art. [Photo by Ashley Hattle]

SANTA FE, N.M. — Memories are not sewn into Nancy Youdelman’s dresses; rather they are cast in a mold, glued, wrapped and painted. Youdelman’s newest exhibit, Dogs are Forever showcases the antique dresses which she has sculpted into new creations.

Youdelman starts by draping plaster gauze over the material to set the mold, then after letting it dry, she paints the piece and begins to glue buttons, broaches, old photographs, postcards, fabric and even some of her own hair to the work.

“I took a sculpting class with a friend and we began to talk about throughout history women made art different from men,” explains Youdelman about her feminine-themed pieces.

Eight Modern, a quaint gallery run by Jaquelin Loyd and her associate Margo Thoma, released Youdelman’s newest exhibit Dogs are Forever on April 12th. The stark white walls are broken up perfectly with Youdelman’s intricate creations. Dresses covered in buttons, photographs and love letters seem to dance, rather than hang on the walls.

“Once we receive the exhibit, it takes months to assemble it perfectly,” Loyd says, “the lighting alone took two days.”

New York born and Southern California inhabitant, Nancy Youleman has a long history with the Eight Modern Gallery which began when they first opened their doors in 2007 to a collective art show, in which Youdelman showcased some of her work for the first time in Santa Fe.

Youdelman has been molding her unique craft since she enrolled in her first art class in 1972. She began to buy dresses from antique stores and off of ebay and would wrap them with plaster gauze, so she could replicate the exact shape without ruining the dress. Over the years, Youdelman always releases a new exhibit with an entirely different feel to each and every one.

“I never run out of ideas,” Youdelman says.


BEST DRESSED: Youdelman’s creations are covered in buttons, photographs and love letters. [Photo by Ashley Hattle]

The Dogs are Forever exhibit focuses on many old photographs Youdelman has collected of women and their dogs and the special bond that is formed between them. Youdelman, admitted that at one time she own five. “Nothing is better than the unconditional love of a dog,” Youdelman said with a mischievous grin.

Along with her dresses on display, Youdelman has added children’s shoes, wrapped dolls and flower bouquets to this exhibit which was argued among the viewers as her best work yet.

“Nancy is an unusually wonderful artist to work with,” says Thoma of the detailed artist, “and we always love showing her talent.”

Eight Modern will be showing Dogs Are Forever from April 12-May 18, 2013.
Eight Modern
231 Delgado St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 995 0231

About Jen Sasser

Jen Sasser is working towards a Photojournalism degree with a minor in African American Studies. She is deeply interested in African affairs, non-profits, and travel which is evident in her writing and photographs.

View all posts by Jen Sasser

3 Responses to “Dogs and Dresses”

  1. Davy Says:

    Cool story. Great intro and pictures.


  2. Aaron Lambert Says:

    Very nice job, Jen!! I love your lead!


  3. J.R. Johnson Says:

    Really interesting story. Awesome job!


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