Striking paintings depicting religious figures of assorted faiths adorn the walls of multimedia artist Kelli Bickman’s studio on Main Street. Those images are reprinted onto cotton clothing smattered on racks throughout the space. After gaining notoriety in private art collections worldwide, Bickman hopes to take her clothing line, 11:11 Style, national. Thus far, she estimates, she’s sewn together 1000 garments.
“My art is the key element, and I stand out as a product because it’s totally original,” said Bickman. “For the general public, my price points might be a little higher, but that will change.”
Recently, Bickman and a slew of local schoolchildren graced the side of the Odd Fellows Temple building with a mural via her youth mural arts program, an element of Shout Out Saugerties. She made the murals in conjunction with Hudson Valley schoolchildren. They can be found in Woodstock, Phoenicia and Peekskill.
“My pieces of Kelli Bickman art are my pride and joy,” said writer Neil Gaiman. “If I were rich enough, and had a house large enough, I would have nothing but Kelli Bickman art.”
Bickman’s style of apparel is distinctive: bright, tattoo-like designs on comfortable clothing with exposed, overlocked stitches at the seam. A friend from her college years at the University of Wisconsin Stout campus felt that 11:11 was “a magic time.” Bickman adopted that concept as her brand.
Before getting her BFA in painting, Bickman took — and — abhorred two courses in apparel design. She found a traditional sewing machine clumsy to use. She now uses a serger, a gift from her mother. It cuts the edges of cloth and sews them together all in one step.
“There’s so much more available to clothing designers now,” said Bickman. “I started designing fabrics, and now I’m addicted. I also started because I hated shopping and wanted to design my own clothes. I don’t want to sell anything I don’t want to wear. Above all else, I like to be comfortable. That’s why I like knits – things that are versatile in both the yoga studio and on the street.”
Bickman’s clothing can be purchased at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, Menla Mountain Retreat in Phoenicia, Pondicherry in Woodstock, Kaatskill Lodge at Hunter Mountain, Heart and Soul in Beacon, Heart of Woodstock, and O2Living in Cross River, and from retailers in Arizona, Minnesota and Canada. The majority of her sales have been through her website, www.1111style.com. For more information on Bickman and her artistic endeavors, visit www.kellibickman.net.