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ABOUT

Michael Cepress is an American Artist, Curator and Educator. holds a BA in Art from the University of Wisconsin Green-Bay, a Masters of Fine Arts in Fibers Arts from the University of Washington, and has worked professionally as a fashion designer, artist and instructor in the University of Washington School of Art for 11 years.  An intense interest in the cultural impact clothing can make has led Cepress to focus on the design and production of his own fashion label and theatrical costumes, and he has written on clothing's relationship to gender and popular culture. Cepress has exhibited his works and lectured nationally and internationally. In Spring 2014 he dressed 104 members of the Seattle Symphony for their performances at Carnegie Hall, and has worked as costume designer for legendary theatre director Robert Wilson.  His work has been published in Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, OUT Magazine, Surface Design Journal, and a host of books on the subject of Wearable Art and fashion design.  His costume designs have recently debuted on national television, and as Producer and Designer of The Robbie Turner Revue at the Hard Rock Cafe, Cepress' work will be touring nationally to theatres and performance venues across the nation.  An Instructor in the University of Washington's School of Art for 11 years, he has developed curriculum on multiple facets of fashion design, wearable art, and the history of style and clothing. In fall of 2015, he became Guest Curator at the Bellevue Arts Museum, and debuted a 9000-square-foot museum exhibition titled "Counter-Couture," featuring over 150 authentic garments from the American counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s.  In Spring 2017 Counter-Couture will be showcased at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City.  In Summer 2016 Cepress was a guest instructor at the Penland School of Crafts, and in May 2016 was inducted into the Hall of Fame in his hometown of Wausau, Wisconsin.  

About MICHAEL CEPRESS

Michael Cepress is an American Musician and Artist. 

For 50 years, many have been looking for ways to follow Joni Mitchell’s call back to the garden. But Michael Cepress never left. In the world created through his songs, the visions of the counterculture ‘60s never faded or failed. They just got smarter, and maybe sweeter, and now come alive again through the re-imaginings that he offers for the 21st century. Cepress combines the music of the past with the spirit of the present on these tracks, wisely avoiding the musty recreations of nostalgia or – even more importantly – winking meta-commentaries. His songs, created with the expert collaboration of Julian Martlew, are loving and living examples of the sounds and spirits of the late-1960s. His influences are wide-ranging, riding the cosmic axis that connects Gram Parsons to Jefferson Airplane to Bill Withers. On the stomp of “You Light The Fire,” the sunshine daydreams of “Golden Boys of Summer”, or the tenderness of “It’s Never The End,” he spins a dial across the intersecting sounds that pulsed through the Woodstock nation. But, as important as those influences are, they never overwhelm his unique vision. Cepress’s voice and guitar anchor warm arrangements that evoke the era in both its multicolored splendor and its muted earth-tone intimacy. The visual imagery isn’t accidental. Cepress’s career has taken him through textile arts, fashion design, education and exhibit curation, but music – specifically this music – has remained at the center of his creative practice. A lifelong fan and student of the soundscapes of the late 1960s, he has now produced a set of songs that draw together these golden threads. What results is a soulful and incandescent introduction to an artist who calls us to join him and be free.

In addition to music, a deep passion for the cultural impact music, clothing and fashion can make has led Cepress to focus on the design of his own fashion label and costumes for theatre and stage performance. Cepress has exhibited his works and lectured nationally and internationally as an authority on the historical importance of fashion as an art form.  In 2015, he became Guest Curator at the Bellevue Arts Museum, and debuted a 9000-square-foot museum exhibition titled "Counter-Couture," featuring over 150 authentic garments from the American counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s.  In 2017 Counter-Couture was be showcased at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City.

He has dressed the Seattle Symphony Orchestra for their performances at Carnegie Hall, and has worked as costume designer with legendary theatre director Robert Wilson.  His work has been published in The New York Times, VOGUE, NY Magazine, The New Yorker, Women's Wear Daily, Huffington Post, OUT Magazine, Surface Design Journal, and a host of books on the subject of Wearable Art and Fashion Design.  

Cepress worked as an instructor in the University of Washington's School of Art for 11 years, he has created curriculum on multiple facets of Fashion Design, Wearable Art, and the history of style and clothing.   In Summer 2016 Cepress was a guest instructor at the Penland School of Crafts, and in May 2016 was inducted into the Hall of Fame in his hometown of Wausau, Wisconsin.  

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Photo by Michael B. Maine, 2019.