Art in motion

Annual Wearable Art show to include work by 33 entrants

Posted: Friday, February 13, 2009

The annual Wearable Arts show presented by the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council this weekend is bigger and better than ever, director Patricia Hull said.

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Brian Wallace / Juneau Empire
Brian Wallace / Juneau Empire

"It's a big, big party, and people have a lot of fun at it," she said of the eighth annual event. "It raises a lot of money for the arts council and our programs."

The arts council will again have two shows this year, at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Centennial Hall. The doors open one hour prior to the show for silent auctions.

Tickets are $25 for general admission, $50 for front row or $75 for front table seats and are available at Hearthside Books or the council office. The Saturday night show is already sold out.

"Quoting other people, 'This is one of Juneau's favorite holidays,'" executive director Nancy DeCherney said. "I actually have people that come in and say this is their favorite holiday."

The theme for this year's event is "Altered State."

"We came up with that because of course it's the 50th anniversary of statehood and we thought that this was an interesting twist on that," Hull said. "We like to choose a theme that gives us a lot of flexibility."

The flexibility includes the pieces created by the artists as well as the set designed by Bauer-Clifton Interiors.

"In keeping with that theme of 'Altered State,' we thought it would be interesting to have the set itself alter from piece to piece, so we're using projections to do that," Hull said. "There's really two sets. There's the virtual set, and there's the physical set."

DeCherney said people can expect to see the vision of some of Juneau's most creative minds come to life on stage.

"We have really got quite a lineup for you," she said. "There are some really amazing things coming down the runway for you. The parts that I've been seeing, it's gong to be pretty amazing."

There are 33 entrants in the show, up from 24 last year, Hull said. Some of the artists have made use of recycled goods such as toilet paper rolls and vintage Japanese kimono fabrics to create their pieces. David Walker will have a couple of his wood designs that have been fan favorites in past shows.

"They are challenging themselves to make something beautiful out of something that is considered worthless," Hull said of the pieces using recycled materials.

Hull estimated there will be nearly 50 people fashioning the wearable art pieces. There are also many volunteers that put in countless hours of work to bring the show together, DeCherney said.

"This community really comes out in droves for this and I really appreciate the energy that everyone is willing to put in to make this happen. It's a tremendous amount of work to make this for the community."

The show has become so successful that it has begun attracting artists from outside of Juneau, Hull said. This year there is an artist from Homer and one from Ketchikan, as well as a college student that is coming back to town especially to participate in the event.

DeCherney said the Wearable Arts show has evolved into the major fundraising event for the arts council. The proceeds generated from the Saturday show will go to benefit the council's scholarship program, and the proceeds from the Sunday show will go toward the renovations and costs of running the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

• Contact reporter Eric Morrison at 523-2269 or

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