My name is Tara Halsted, and I recently graduated from UC Davis with an MFA in Design. I went to Stanford for undergrad, where I majored in Art Practice and swam on the Stanford Women's swim team.
I grew up in Davis, California, and I have been swimming since age five. I love incorporating themes of swimming into my art and design projects. As an undergrad, I drew pictures of my teammates and hand-painted sea animal designs on shirts. I went to grad school to study functional clothing design so that I could make swimwear to address issues common to swimmers. There are many common swimming-related injuries, so for my MFA thesis project, I researched common injuries and current products, interviewed elite swimmers, coaches, and physical therapists, then designed and tested a novel training swimwear garment to address several injury risk factors (will include details later after publication).
Several of my recent projects address swimming-related issues that I have personally experienced. Swimmers often have trouble finding clothing that fits properly due to their wide shoulders and muscular frame, so I designed "Breathing Room", a fashion collection made specifically to fit the body proportions of female swimmers. Swimmers try to stay warm and dry between races at swim meets, so I made multiple swimming parkas with novel features to keep swimmers warm and dry. Swimsuits made from 100% polyester last for a long time, but the elastic wears out much faster than the swimsuit material. I cut up the material from old suits with worn-out elastic, and reused it to sew suits with new elastic.
I love making things, but in my free time, I enjoy hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking, and reading Calvin and Hobbes.
ARTIST STATEMENT (6/2017, B.A. Art Practice, Stanford):
Due to its physical nature, water has the ability to reflect its surroundings through distortions. Through my art, I reflect my environment through the lens of my perspective. Reflective surfaces such as water question the representation of spaces by blending the surface reflection with the environment below. I aim to depict the feeling of existing in an underwater environment, submerged in an underwater world. I use drawing as a camera, to record details of my surroundings and give permanence to a moment by immortalizing an image. Starting with photography, I translate images into drawings and paintings by manipulating them and inserting my point-of-view. Toying with the idea of truthfulness of memory, I manipulate personal photographs. I focus on the notion of reflection, whether through reconsidering a memory or through questioning a depiction of space on a reflective surface.