Four of a Kind: Designer Wendy Newman talks art deco and upcycling

Wendy Newman. Photo by Katie Richard

Editor’s note: This is part of “Four of a Kind,” a recurring Arts & Culture feature. Each month, four new artists share their takes on the local art scene. In addition to individual online posts, you can find all four features as a single spread in this week’s print edition.

Wendy Newman is an Asheville-based designer.

Xpress: Is there an upcoming fashion show happening in Asheville that you’re looking forward to seeing?

Newman: Every year, my favorite Asheville fashion show is Color Me Goodwill — an event that exemplifies community at its best. Seven designers participate, each selecting a color and venturing to Goodwill to purchase clothes for upcycling. This year’s event takes place on Friday, April 19. Tickets tend to sell out quickly, so here’s a pro tip: Secure yours now! I’ve been volunteering my photography to this event for eight years.

Outside of fashion, what other upcoming local arts happening intrigues you?

Friday, Feb. 16-Sunday, Feb. 18, I’ll be attending the 37th National Arts and Crafts Conference at The Omni Grove Park Inn. I went to it once before in 2002 to see what it was. There are so many master crafters to meet and see their work. A lot of furniture, interior pieces and home design.

What current project are you working on that you’re especially excited about?
My current project is for art deco enthusiasts: a historic collaboration between the Tamara de Lempicka Estate and Wendy Newman Designs has given rise to Wendy’s Wearable Art. This collection transforms iconic paintings into luxury scarves, umbrellas and leggings.  The collection is now available online at
Additionally, the Broadway musical Lempicka, based on Tamara de Lempicka’s life, premieres on Tuesday, March 19. The silk scarves and umbrellas I’ve created, featuring the famous painter, will be available for purchase during the musical. You can find more information and purchase tickets at

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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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