In 1985, Jennifer Stewart was working as an art teacher with
schizophrenic adults in Iowa
City, Iowa, when one of her students commented he thought
she looked like the Statue of Liberty.
Ironically, the next year Stewart
happened to read about a national Statue of Liberty look-alike
contest being held in celebration of the statue's 100th
birthday. Jennifer never would have considered entering such
a contest if not for her former student's comment.
Stewart approached the construction
of the costume as if it were an art project. Little did she
know this "art project" would flourish into a fulltime
Making the costume proved to be a
monumental task, given Stewart was still living in Iowa and had
never before visited the Statue of Liberty. Her background
in art proved to be invaluable -- and cost effective too.
Jennifer used everyday household items, such as paper towel rolls,
laundry baskets, etc., to make the props of her hair, torch,
tablet, and crown.
Jennifer won the Chicago
mid-western regional division of the contest, and thus qualified
to go on and compete against the other 1,000 contestants
nationwide. On July 1, 1986, during a live broadcast of the
CBS Morning News, Stewart "took home the crown" as the National
Winner of the Statue of Liberty Centennial Look-Alike Contest.
The question Jennifer gets asked the most is; how does she get her
skin that particular shade of green. Jennifer uses a water-based
theatrical make-up that she hand-mixes in order to achieve that
special tarnished copper color.
application is relatively easy. Stewart first applies
regular face make-up, and then paints the green water-based
theatrical make-up on her face, neck, hands, and arms with a large
quickens drying time by using a hairdryer. Once the make-up has
set, it will not rub off on hands or clothing, and essentially
becomes waterproof, although it
comes off easily in the shower with soap and water.
Photos of make-up application
courtesy Radhika Chalasani©. All rights reserved.