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Costello Hinchey Fine Arts Studios

Photo Gallery

Custom Costumes

A little about my costumes (or prop peices)... They are typically for non-profit organizations (but not limited to that). Typically my costumes are commissioned for public education and for recreation use, but not exclusively. Most of these non-profit organizations will mainly use them for public education for things like center education programs, grade school education, festivals, Earth Day celebrations, book readings, home or private school activities, library functions, stream cleanups... For instance, The Upper Tennessee River Roundtable has written a short musical skit that they regularly perform at many regional area activities The skit includes a darter fish, dragonfly, hellbender (another of my costumes), and Pearly the mussel. They recruit volunteers from local high schools, colleges, theater kids, BPSA scouts, UU Churches, etc. to do these skits. The response is wonderful. Especially when they have other kids in the costumes or playing instruments! They are also often loaned out all over the region, as well. The Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge in West Virginia is going to use their costume for regular public education at their large refuge center. They are also planning to later add more native species educational costumes as they acquire grant funding. I have designs in the works for realistic native species such as mussels, tadpoles, flowers, lightning bugs, butterflies, crayfish, bats, mushrooms, plants, fish, hummingbirds, dragonflies, birds, nuts, leaves, etc. I am able to design and craft my costumes so that I can customize each sub-species for special orders, depending on what species/subspecies of animal an organization or customer is interested in. Many animal species are endangered, threatened, or protected in some way. I've even done costumes representing aggressive, nuisance, or invasive species. I can do costumes that might tie in with history or our Native American education, as well. I enjoy working to create custom designed costumes. It's become a passion of mine! If the costume is close by, I volunteer to try and get them in once a year or so to check them and see if they need minor repair or touch-ups. Sometimes that can take months because there is such a long waiting list for the loan of these costumes. Because these costumes are used to educate very young audiences, I try to create them with an open-face concept so that the actor/wearer's face is visible, as I did with my hellbender and mussel costumes. As you know, some creatures can be scary to the younger children. We've found that when the kids can see a smiling human face, it's a lot less scary. They tend to focus on the skit and the singing, and ultimately the message trying to be conveyed. I have custom designed and created many varieties of costumes. They are not only individually designed, hand-made/sewn and hand-painted (in some cases) but painstaking stresses diligent and assiduous attention to details (in many cases like a canvas work of art). I try my best to create each one so that any size person could wear it. And that it be relatively light, easy to move in with free hands, and not too hot. Because of this, I'm actually able to copywrite my costume designs, which is the most common questions asked about my costumes. When I'm creating a costume for a non-profit for education purposes (purchased from grants), I usually do those at cost and rarely make any profit from these. These generally run about $2,500-5,000 and can take from 6 months to up to a year to design, create, and have ready. This is my way of making a difference and giving back. If they are commissioned for profit purposes, the price is understandably more. Please contact me if you have any other questions or if you are ready to have a costume created!
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