I am excited to announce Dawn Mostow as the winner of our Cosplay Costume Contest that was held at Target First Saturday on April 5th. The theme of the evening was “Japanimated! The Arts and Culture of Japan,” which related to our two exhibitions of Japanese art, © MURAKMI and Utagawa: Masters of the Japanese Print, 1770–1900. Cosplay (which comes from the words “costume” and “play”) is very popular among anime and manga fans in both Japan and the United States. We chose to have a Cosplay Contest because in planning the program we were looking for an activity that would engage visitors and encourage them to participate celebrating the unique, creative cultures coming out of Japan. For this contest we invited visitors to come dressed up as their favorite anime or manga character and have their picture taken by our volunteer photographers Priscilla Vazquez and Leah Golubchick. Many people dressed up and you can see their fabulous costumes on our flickr stream. It was hard for our panel of judges to pick a winner from the many wonderful costumes, but all chose Dawn’s as one of their favorites.
Dawn is dressed up as Rei Ayanami, a character from the anime series Evangelion. Dawn chose Rei Ayanami because, “I wanted a popular character that is easily recognizable to anime fans, but also holds a visual interest to people not familiar with Japanese animation, thereby creating an interest in the genre.” Dawn has been involved in Cosplay for ten years and made her costume herself. She has a background in costume design, and is currently studying for an MFA at Pratt Institute. She remarked that making the costume was challenging because she had to work on bringing a two-dimensional character to life. Thanks to Dawn and everyone else who participated in the contest and made April’s Target First Saturday memorable! I hope you can all join us again in May.