MARCH 18 - APRIL 3, 2011

HOUSE COAT is a temporary site-specific installation that will take place in Spring 2011 in St. Louis, MO, and will involve the creation of a fitted spandex garment for a two-story row-house directed by Cosign Projects and curated by Lauren Frances Adams. Andrea Carey of LA LA Land is helping Leeza Meksin organize the logistics of this public art installation, while the artist's sister and filmmaker, Anya Meksin, will be video recording the installation process.

The official opening will be on March 18, 2011, from 4:00pm and throughout the evening.


HOUSE COAT, as the pun implies, refers both to the literal fact of the house getting a new covering (a face lift of sorts) as well as to the garment often worn by people indoors (i.e. the outfit that is specifically designed for a private sphere and not permitted an exterior use).

Given that the scale of a building is much larger than that of the human body -- and most ready-made patterns are designed with the human body in mind -- it was imperative for this project that the print’s scale related to the size of the architectural form. The pattern Meksin has designed with the help of the fabric designer, Ceci Davis, consists of large gold chains on a white, semi-transparent surface. The logic behind this pattern is multifold: (1) Cosign Projects is located in a depressed area of St. Louis, with multiple boarded-up houses surrounding it; (2) The gold on white motif makes frequent appearances in hip hop and pop culture as a sign of wealth and fabulousness; (3) The house, wrapped in gold chains, will flaunt itself to locals, while simultaneously finding itself bound by its own design.


Working within the tradition of such installation artists as Christo and Jeanne-Claude, this project is part of the artist's ongoing exploration of the visual potential of stretch fabrics. While Christo's projects, such as "Wrapped Reichstag," elegantly reference the culture of Ancient Greece and comment on structures of power and local jurisprudence, Meksin's spandex installations evoke the hyper-fitted garments worn by entertainers, drag queens, and super heroes. The idea of dressing houses and other staid architectural structures in racy outfits strikes a humorous chord rarely found within urban and suburban housing. With these installations, the artist is interested in exploring questions such as: (1) How does the life expectancy of a building material (i.e. brick or wood) affect our perceptions of durability, solidity, and hardiness; (2) What happens to large inanimate objects when they get dressed up in architectural “drag”; (3) How do pattern and decoration relate to questions of gender and sexuality?

To see more of Leeza's work, visit the website:

Leeza Meksin, 2011

Leeza Meksin is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist who makes installations, paintings, videos, films, sculptures and multiples. Meksin was born and raised in Moscow, Russia, and educated in the United States. She received a BA and MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago before continuing on to an MFA in Painting from the Yale School of Art. She is the recipient of the Robert Schoelkopf Fellowship and the Yale Collaborative Project Grant, and has had solo shows in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio. Recent venues include the Abington Arts Center, Regina Rex, and Columbia College. She has worked as a Production Designer on independent films in New York and has been awarded a documentary grant from the Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundation to co-direct a film about women struggling with drugs in Ukraine (BALKA). She is currently a faculty member at Tyler School of Art and Program Director at the New York Art Studio.


The artist has raised over half the funds needed for production and installation. If you would like to donate to HOUSE COAT, your financial support would be appreciated. All funds go directly to the artist.

Press about 'House Coat':

KWMU's Cityscapes on NPR, 'House Coat,' with guests Lauren Adams, Leeza Meksin, and Jake Peterson, Hosted by Steve Potter, 3/25/11

Keaggy, Diane, 'Art Project Wraps Benton Park house in Spandex," St. Louis Post Dispatch, 3/23/11

Cooperman, Jeanette,"The House Coat Exhibit," STL Magazine 'Secretary of the Interior,' 3/18/2011     

Garrison, Chad, "Spandex and Bling Wrap South St. Louis Home," 3/17/11  

Fowler, Nancy, "Spandex Wrapped Home Coated with Meaning," 3/18/11  

See more video of citizen responses to 'House Coat' on youtube.


The Creative Team:

Lauren Adams & Jake Peterson, Cosign Projects
Andrea Bitai & Ceci Davis, Graphic Design
Laura Divergilio & Andrea Fama, Planning & Development
Victoria Lewis, Pattern Pulse
Kathryn Lofton, Fabrication
Anya Meksin, Documentation
Meesha Meksin, Installation
Netta Sadovsky, Installation
Scott's Contracting, Safety and Common Sense

This project is made possible with the generous support from:

Pipa Pantalones
Kathryn Lofton
Esther & Victor Meksin
Andrea Carey Fama & Gene Fama
Colleen Carey
Jason Earle
Laura DiVergilio
Helen Lee
Elizabeth Fama
Genya Iskhakova
Margrethe Kearney
Irina Ridenour
Anne-E. Wood
Ho Lim Song
Keeyoon Kang
Raishad Glover
Rebecca Hamlin
Elena Postoev
Gregory & Nadya Iskakov
Meesh (the Kot)
Nate Berkebile
Isa-Kae Meksin
Bette Phimister
Alec Wood & Rosemary O'Neill
Soo Han
Galina Kirillova-Vanyukov
Sooyeon Kim
Daniel Gasperut
Andrew James
Polina Vanyukov
Andrew Fish
Peter Reiss
Danny & Naomi Kayne
Sharon Sekhon
Isobel Schofield & Jacob Rhodes
Mary & Doug Earle
Zubin Jelveh
Steve Roh
Melody Weinstein
Betsy Odom & Kelli Connell
David Humphrey
C Kwak
Anya Meksin
Kristen Kee
Marcel Przymusinski
Rebecca Shore & Mark Rivers
Lucy Kim
Tara Ward & Justin Kasper
Jackie Shrake
Vivian Cahn
Sarah Oppenheimer
Lauren Lofton
Michael Piyevsky
Jenjira Yahirun
Lauren Adams & Jake Peterson
Mikhail Victorovich Meksin
Bex Koehnen
Cat Balco
Katrina Alexy
Julie Yeagle
Josie Saxton
William Gerrard
Sandra Burns
Tim Gyves
Lisa Vetro
Audrey Chen & Billie Mandle
Yui Kugimiya
Nathlie Provosty
Stephanie Sneary
Alex Burstein
Elizabeth Altenkirch & Raymond Daniel
Jonathan Eden
Sue Kwan
Clint & Colae Jukkala
Mira Stroika
Sun You
Jason Smith
Alla Katnelson & Geoff McKonly
Chris Bransome
Alan Ruiz
Matvey Levenstein
Jessica Barnett
Anna & Slava Grinshpun
Benjamin Kayne
Emily Levin
Nick Papageorge
Rachel Fainter
Alisa Baremboym
Jenna Weiss
Cesar Davila-Irizarry
Katie Morgan
Stacie Vos
Anthony A Thompson
Marie Rim
Dina Leytes
Good Citizen Gallery
Juan William Chavez
Kiersten Torrez
Brooke Priddy
Kathleen Perniciaro
Diane Keaggy
Sarah Paulsen
Soo Kim
Julie Yagle
Kostya’s father
Maxi Eisenmann


If you have questions or comments about this project, or would like to learn more about the artist or Cosign Projects, please email

For questions about the permitting process, city code approval of HOUSE COAT, or general inquiries about legal issues, please email We are happy to provide information about the public safety of this project.