FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/20/2017
Ashley H Pollock, Public Relations & Information Coordinator Office: (435) 865-8667
College of Performing and Visual Arts Cell: (435) 590-0961
Southern Utah University firstname.lastname@example.org
A Legacy of Love: The Thread That Binds Us
Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah: Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA) hosts A
Legacy of Love: The Thread That Binds Us, an exhibition featuring the fashion designs of Eletra
Casadei and her impact on the theatrical design and costumes of SUU Department of Theatre
Arts & Dance. The exhibition is currently on display through November 11, 2017. SUMA is free
and open to the public from Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.
L.A. fashion designer Eletra Casadei was an innovative and favored designer generating buzz
with her TD4 (To Die For) prom dress designs created with teenage girls’ desires in mind, “prom
parties” to kick off the fashion season, first-of- its-kind fashion videos showcasing her elegant
gowns and original beaded and lace fabric designs. Her Casadei line embodied Eletra’s true
fashion philosophy; to create a sense of Hollywood Glamour that was affordable and made
every woman feel beautiful.
Eletra passed away from brain cancer in 2008 leaving behind her fashion label and a studio
stocked full of exquisite items. Eletra’s sister, Andrea, took charge of these treasures, searching
for the perfect place to continue Eletra’s legacy.
A chance meeting occurred in the spring of 2012 in Cedar City, Utah, between Andrea and
Deborah Snider, SUU Assistant Professor of Art. Andrea said, “It was so unexpected that I
would meet her at the perfect moment, inside of a fabric store I typically wouldn't find myself in.
It wasn't too long before Deb introduced me to Wendy Sanders, an amazing designer who runs
the [SUU Department of Theatre Arts & Dance] costume shop. Between these two women and
myself, we decided to have [Wendy’s] students come over to my storage unit to potentially
purchase some of the things I had for their upcoming show.”
One thing led to another and soon one show turned into many. Through Andrea’s enthusiastic
giving, the SUU Department of Theatre Arts & Dance received from Eletra’s studio yards and
yards of stunning fabric and trim, bins of Eletra’s originally designed beaded fabrics and
appliques, industrial sewing machines and equipment, a vast collection of fashion history books,
and boxes of sewing notions. Over the last five years, students have been able to design and
construct costumes beyond what would have been possible on a typical university production
Eletra was not only an exquisite designer, but a consummate educator, always taking young
designers under her wing to mentor or finding time to teach at Otis Art Institute of Parsons
School of Design. It is, therefore, most fitting that her legacy be continued at an institution of
Andrea said, “I know, without question, that Eletra would be so very proud of all that SUU has
done for their students and the freedom that Wendy Sanders has allowed them to have while
working with all the beautiful things I was able to provide. Together we have bound the love of
design from one gifted talent to so many others.”
A Runway Fashion Show and Luncheon will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at noon.
Tickets are available for $25 and a portion of the sales will go toward the Eletra Casadei Legacy
For more information about A Legacy of Love: The Thread That Binds Us, please visit
About the College of Performing and Visual Arts
The Southern Utah University College of Performing and Visual Arts is comprised of nationally
accredited programs in Art + Design, Music, and Dance. The College also offers programs in
Theatre Arts, graduate programs in Arts Administration and Music, as well as a Center for
Shakespeare Studies. The College offers 26 academic programs, including liberal arts Bachelor
of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees; professional Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Fine
Arts in art and theatre degrees; and Master of Fine Arts in Arts Administration, Master of Arts in
Arts Administration, Master of Music Education and Master of Music in Music Technology
graduate degrees. More than 60 full- and part-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching
and mentoring over 600 majors in the College. The College presents over 100 performances,
lectures, presentations, and exhibitions each year. The College’s affiliate organizations include
the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), Utah Shakespeare Festival and SUU’s Ballroom
Dance Company. For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, visit
For Calendar Editors: A Legacy of Love: The Thread That Binds Us
What: Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA) hosts A Legacy of Love: The Thread That
Binds Us, an exhibition featuring the fashion designs of Eletra Casadei and her
impact on the theatrical design and costumes of SUU Department of Theatre Arts
& Dance. The exhibition is currently on display through November 11, 2017.
SUMA is free and open to the public from Tuesday through Saturday from noon
to 6 p.m.
Who: SUU Department of Theatre Arts & Dance, Eletra Casadei family,
Southern Utah Museum of Art
When: Now through November 11, 2017, Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.
Where: Southern Utah Museum of Art, 13 S 300 W, Cedar City, Utah
Tickets: Free admission
Info: For more information, please visit www.suu.edu/pva.