‘Cushla Naegele: Shaping the Female Form’ on View in the Garment District’s Kaufman Arcade




Image courtesy Cushla Naegele and the Garment District Alliance

The Garment District Alliance (GDA) announced the latest in its ongoing series of public art exhibits, showcasing Cushla Naegele: Shaping the Female Form, a series of paintings and drawings that delve into the captivating history of women’s clothing and how it has defined, enhanced, and obscured the female form. 

The evocative installation is part of the Garment District Space for Public Art program, which showcases artists in unusual locations and has produced more than 200 installations, exhibits, and performances over the past 18 years. Located inside the Kaufman Arcade building on 139 W 35th Street, in the heart of the Garment District, the free exhibit is accessible to the public through January 2024. 

Image courtesy Cushla Naegele and the Garment District Alliance

“Initially inspired by items manufactured in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Cushla’s works represent the story behind women’s garments and how they were shaped by culture and society over the years,” said Barbara A. Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance. “We’re proud to be showcasing her thoughtful pieces as part of the Garment District Space for Public Art program and we encourage all to visit this installation.” 

Shaping the Female Form features a series of paintings and drawings that examine how womenswear molded women’s bodies according to ever-changing ideals. Using charcoal, pastel, ink, and oil and acrylic paint, Naegele’s images encourage viewers to appreciate the beauty of women’s garments with an understanding that beauty comes at a cost. At the same time, she expresses gratitude to live in an era in which women can express themselves through fashion. She chose to exhibit this project in the Garment District, where her studio has been located for 20 years. 

Image courtesy Cushla Naegele and the Garment District Alliance

About the artist ~ Cushla Naegele

Held in private and corporate collections, Naegele’s pieces have been exhibited in New York, Connecticut, New Mexico, and Germany. She has received numerous commissions for her work which involves drawing, painting, and printmaking. Naegele holds a Master of Fine Arts from CUNY- Brooklyn College and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University. She also studied at The Art Students League, SVA, NY Studio School, Central School of Art London, as well as in Perugia, Italy. 

The Garment District is home to diverse business sectors from technology to hospitality and includes thousands of people working in the creative economy, including fine and performing artists, designers, architects, photographers, and more than a hundred theaters, galleries, performance spaces, and studios. 

The Garment District Alliance is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1993 to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of Manhattan’s Garment District. Through programs in the areas of streetscape improvements, sanitation and public safety, marketing and promotions, economic development, and community service, the Garment District Alliance supports the neighborhood’s transformation into a modern, 24/7 destination for dining, nightlife, hotels and unique office space. 

While you’re there, don’t miss Mathias Gmachl’s massive luminous whale ‘Echoes’ on the Broadway Mall, on view through November 13, 2023.