West Virginia University School of Theatre & Dance costume design graduate student Candice Caldwell Day received two awards when she competed recently in the 2012 Southeastern Theatre Conference.

Day received third place in costume crafts and honorable mention in graduate costume design. Her costume crafts entry was a furry, pink llama mask, which took a month and a half to construct. The eye-catching mask tempted many patrons at the conference to touch the fluffy fur.

Her costume design entry was a conceptual version of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” combining Romanesque period style, Scandinavian Viking influence and the artwork of Swiss artist H.R. Giger, who was the concept artist for the film “Alien.”

Day is originally from Concord, N.C. She received her bachelor’s degree in studio fine arts with an emphasis on painting and drawing from Warren Wilson College and started in theater by co-founding and performing in the Asheville Aerial Arts. She has also been an artist-in-residence at the Rabun Gap Nacoochee School in Georgia, coaching the Cirque program and assisting in the art department. She grew up as a competitive Whitewater Slalom Kayaker and has raced in Europe while a member of the Junior National Canoe and Kayak team.

Day is inspired in her work by the passion she feels for the circus arts. The combination of athleticism, artistry and fantasy in aerial arts lead her to try her hand at costume design.

“Costume designers create characters and worlds,” Day said. “I adore any artwork that transports the viewer to a fantastically beautiful realm, or is really out there and a little creepy.”

Another huge inspiration in Day’s life comes from her late father, who was also an artist and graphic designer.

“I had an early mentor that really pushed me and he was an incredible talent and teacher that I miss dearly,” Day said.

Caldwell is also one of the students in the WVU Costume Shop who created the unique masks for the School of Theatre & Dance production of “The Visit,” by Frederich Dürrenmatt, currently playing at the Creative Arts Center through April 22.

The Southeastern Theatre Conference is the largest and most active regional theater organization in the United States. This season’s conference was hosted at the Chattanooga Convention Center in Tennessee. The Technical Design competition boasted more than 150 entrants in categories ranging from costume design to sound to props design.

This year’s judges included famous Broadway costume designer Tony Walton, lighting designer Richard Pilbrow and costume designer Jennifer Caprio.

-WVU-

lb 3/22/12

CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
304-293-4359, Charlene.Lattea@mail.wvu.edu

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