College of Lake County

Old mannequins make a marvelous canvas for art projects. And the students at the College of Lake County in Illinois had an opportunity to showcase this with old mannequins recycled from a Banana Republic store.

Mannequin Madness Our company recycles mannequins from The Gap, the parent company of Banana Republic and this is an example of the many ways that we extend the life of mannequins that were destined for the trash.
Following in the footsteps of popular public art displays like Chicago’s “Cows on Parade”,” CLC’s “Student Bodies” is a representation and celebration of campus diversity created by the members of various student clubs and department.

Participating clubs and departments included the art department/Sustainability Center, Asian Student Alliance, Black Student Union, Pride Alliance, Multicultural Student Center, Latino Alliance, International Club, Psychology Club, NAACP, World Politics Organization and Phi Theta Kappa, the college’s Honor Society. The organization also plans to submit the project to a contest at Phi Theta Kappa’s 93rd annual national convention in Seattle in April.

In designing the mannequins’ artwork, “We wanted to showcase a non-verbal way to communicate the activities and aspects of the multicultural clubs,” said Bob Lossmann, chairman of the CLC art department and PTK advisor.

College of Lake County students with their art projects
College of Lake County students with their art projects

The idea for “Student Bodies” was the brainchild of CLC public relations specialist Diane Rarick and her Grayslake neighbor Cindy Trabulsy, an assistant manager of the Banana Republic outlet store at Gurnee Mills.

When the store got new fixtures and mannequins, the old mannequins needed to go. Recognizing the mannequins’ many uses, CLC happily accepted the donation.

“Banana Republic is passionate about recycling and giving back to the community,” said Trabulsy. The end result is a “win-win,” said Cindy Sarkady, CLC assistant director of student life. “These (mannequins) would have gone in the Dumpster.”

Some of the mannequins were used by the CLC theater department’s costume shop, while others were used to display college apparel. Thirteen of the mannequins were donated to student groups and became works of art, with the paint donated by the Sherwin-Williams store in Gurnee and Chroma Acrylics.

All of the “student bodies” can be seen on the Banana Republic Facebook page. Eventually some of them will be auctioned off to raise funds for organization depicted on the mannequin.
one nation working together

We have a bargain bin at the Mannequin Madness warehouse in Oakland with miscellaneous mannequins similar to these for local artists and student groups to purchase at discount prices.


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9 years ago

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