As I walked over to the studio today, basking in the sunshine and enjoying the warmth, I thought back over the weekend and especially our second Wearable Arts Extravaganza. It was a hugely successful event in my book. It was successful by the standard measures--we filled the house two nights in a row and raised a lot of money for a good cause. But in my book it was most successful in non-monetary ways. To me the best part of this event was the way it brought together such a wide spectrum of people working together and having a great time at it. It was just amazing and I was pleased to be a part.
I took some pictures during the Friday night performance. I am a lousy photographer, but I'll share a couple of my shots to give you a taste of the excitement of the event. I know that several photographers took some "real" pictures. When those are available I'll post again with something better.
Only 2-1/2 weeks now until the big Wearable Art Extravaganza here at Western Avenue Studios. Although I have been involved since the beginning planning, the reality of it all finally hit me Monday night when we had a meeting of the participating artists, designers, and models. I'd been so focused on the bits that were my responsibility that it was hard to see the whole picture. The meeting made it clear just how exciting this whole thing will be. We'll have everything from beautiful things for everyday wear to the wildly extravagant outfits to be worn one time only.
I will have two jackets and a shawl in the show. They definitely fall in the milder end of the spectrum for the show. Today I was trying to decide what color dress should be worn with the shawl and one of the jackets. Here are the options:
I'm leaning toward the lavender jacket with the black dress, and the shawl with the purple dress. I know that the jacket color doesn't wash out against the purple dress as much "in person" as it does in my (pitiful) photo, but it still doesn't pop in the same way. On the other hand, the black dress somehow seems to dull the colors in the shawl. We'll have to see how they look under the bright lights of the show.
This event is being put on by a partnership of The Miracle Providers Northeast (MPs) and the Loading Dock Gallery as part of ArtWeek Boston and Lowell Open Studios. The donations made for tickets will go to the MPs annual holiday gift event which provides, through various agencies, a wish list of gifts for approximately 400 children whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS. The event will begin at 6:30 pm following open studios and the artist reception in the Loading Dock Gallery. Cash bar and refreshments will be available. Suggested donation is $10 per person, $15 per couple.Tickets are available through Eventbrite.
I had very good intentions of doing a blog post first thing today, but (again) the day has gotten away from me. It has been too long though...and several important events have happened or are coming up. I'll start with what's coming up.
This Sunday afternoon, August 24, I will be participating in a "global cloth party" at the National Historical Park here in Lowell, Mass. This is the second of what is billed as an annual event. Last year's event, which I missed, focused on sharing Lowell's ethnic heritage. Representatives of the various cultures in the city brought in samples of traditional cloth and shared stories related to the cloth and cloth-making. This year artists in the are who work with fabric have been invited to participate. I'll have a table there with some of my jackets to let people see what I do with fabric. I thought it would be fun to bring some of my "fusion" jackets--like my Japanese style jackets made with African fabric. This one is made with an African tie-dyed damask.
I love to work with a wide variety of fabrics and to use them in unexpected ways. There are two African markets in downtown Lowell that sell Dutch fabrics that are made for the African market. I drive or walk by these stores regularly and my eye is always drawn to the fabric displays. The colors and patterns are bold and intense. Although they are well outside my comfort zone, they have been calling my name for a long time. When I won the prize for Creative Sewing at Sunapee this month, I decided that this fabric would be a good use for my prize money. The fabrics come in 6-yard lengths so I couldn't just dip my toes in the water here, I had to dive off the high board. I did just that this week and bought two pieces.
I had the best time studying all the different patterns and making my choices. I decided on two very different pieces. One is deep blue and olive with large stylized birds. The other has a white background with the typical crackled batik background and large pink/red hyacinth flowers. Now my mind is swimming with possibilities for what I will create with them. They are batiks so the "wrong" sides look almost as nice as the 'right" sides--the perfect thing for a jacket or vest with peek-a-boo holes...but perhaps I will get new inspiration on Sunday. I know the store owner is planning to be at the cloth party on Sunday, maybe I'll have a chance to chat with her some more. Who knows what the day will bring.
I am really hoping to use one of these fabrics in a creation for our Wearable Art Extravaganza on Saturday night October 4. More about that in my next post.
Ann M. Lee