By Sally Absher

The public is invited to attend an absolutely amazing, one-of-a-kind art show this Saturday, May 28 at 11 a.m. Students enrolled in the Oak Ridge High School Design Program are presenting a runway fashion show to celebrate their innovative garments based on varied constructions ranging from recycled materials to computer design and 3D printing. The show will be at the Historic Jackson Square in Oak Ridge with Southern Bliss Boutique, Through the Looking Glass Arts, and Antiques in the Square.

Art Design teacher Kristi Bailey has been a Level 5 teacher at ORHS for the past two years. She told the Focus, “My love has been my design class, and this program is unique and to my knowledge the only one if its kind offered at any high school around our region. We are excited to debut our first ever 3D designed and printed garment features and accessories. I hope this will be an amazing experience and would love to see as many people as possible out at the student’s first ever fashion show!”

She said, “My course begins with basic concepts of Design, and as the student progresses we explore the actualization and construction of those designs. I have incorporated the use of sustainable materials, recycled materials, and 3D printing into the projects. This key to this program is unique in the sense that it can encompass all types of learners using multiple intelligence principles from visual-spatial, to logical-mathematical.”

Bailey said she has been fortunate to have the opportunity to establish the Design program at ORHS. “It is a highly impactful program,” she adds, “both in terms of ORHS students having access to such a unique way to “make art,” but also in the way it brings science and math students together to show them how they can apply the use of technology in an art field.”

Applications for 3D computer-assisted design and printing are exploding right now, from prosthetics and medical equipment to car parts to fashion accessories. “The program is based on critical thinking, problem solving, and thinking outside of the box; all traits that a successful innovator must hone and apply. Employers today want creative individuals who are able to look at things in new, inventive ways.

Bailey said, “When people assume my kids are “just making pretty dresses” I say, no they are solving problems. In what other class can you give a student 10 pieces of paper, a roll of tape, and some garbage bags and say, OK, you now need to make a fully wearable, structurally sound garment that is aesthetically pleasing and marketable. It amazing to see what they come up with!”

“Yet,” Bailey lamented, “in education today we are seeing a reduction in the arts, and this is an unfortunate misdirection in our schools. Art and design programs like ours lend themselves entirely to relevancy and innovation – something Oak Ridge is known for. The union of art and science is the future of Arts Education.”

Bailey has inspired several of her students to pursue design in college, receiving thousands of dollars in scholarships to colleges and universities including Maryville College, Maryland College of Art and Design, and the highly acclaimed Savannah College of Art and Design.

She hopes that parents and people in the community will attend the design show and support the program. In addition to the show on May 28, the public can also view a short video from the senior show last week at