Aubri Sparkman is on an artistic roll.
The 17-year-old Hattiesburg artist designed and created a prom dress made entirely of Duck Tape brand duct tape as part of a nationwide scholarship challenge.
She landed in the top five in the dress category of the Stuck at Prom competition with her Hub City music-inspired dress and won a $500 cash scholarship and a Duck Brand prize pack worth $100.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Sparkman said. “It’s a little random to make a prom dress out of duct tape, but it’s really exciting to get somewhere with that.”
As part of the contest, high-school-level participants can enter either a dress or tux category and the project must be a garment constructed completely out of duct tape. A judging period took place in June and the winners were announced in mid-July.
She said the dress took about 66 hours to make using 14 rolls of duct tape and other materials, such as hot glue and zippers. She did experiment with duct tape for a while before deciding to officially enter the competition.
“I did make a miniature model version of it first to just kind of see if I could actually use duct tape,” she said. “It did take a lot of experimenting and starting over. Duct tape is not the easiest thing to make clothing out of and I did use a few extra things and some paper, but the majority of it is definitely duct tape.”
Sparkman said that her inspiration to make the music-themed wearable creation derived from her love of learning to play different instruments and incorporating her musical talents into other forms of art.
“Music has been a big part of my life,” she said. “I play a lot of instruments, so I always try to include music in a lot of my art, and I included several instruments that I play. I put the violin, the electric guitar, piano, and tambourine in the dress design as well.”
And Sparkman is already a familiar artist around the Hub City.
She’s created several public art installations including the “Soar and Score” mural at the University of Southern Mississippi and the “All That Jazz” utility box project.
The mural is featured at the college’s Eagle Walk and pays tribute to the band and athletic teams and highlights several recognizable figures while the utility box creation is a bright, innovative piece featuring lively jazz musicians that bring music to life right before your eyes.