2016 Wearable Art Salon Wrap-up & Salute!

In this “off year” for our grand event (the Wearable Art Runway Show) – our goal was to expand our thinking about wearable art as an art form and share this learning with the community.   It was also an opportunity to step back and celebrate all who have been involved for the last ten years, so all involved from day one could fully appreciate being part of something quite special on Cape Ann and beyond. Already, we have shown that through collaboration, the Wearable Art movement can grow and our seARTS group can carve its own niche to bring attention to the wide array of wearable work being created in our back yard.  We can bring people here to enjoy it and buy it.  And equally exciting is, that through outreach and partnerships we are, in fact, joining the greater universe of wearable art which is evolving worldwide.  In the words of one artist:

It was wonderful to see what the Wearable Arts organization was all about!  Ten years ago, I enjoyed a lunch with some wonderful artist and gallery owners in Gloucester.  It was then that I heard about the Wearable Arts idea.  After that inspirational lunch, I drove back to Swampscott and went back to my jewelry business life, parenting etc . . . Last year I reconnected with Jackie and the Wearable Arts group and learned how far the idea and organization had come . . . and I was thrilled to be part of last week’s tenth year celebration. It was an evening of fun, education and pure inspiration!!! Thank you for creating an environment where artists can come together to socialize and inspire one another!  I am looking forward to the big event next year; the creative juices are already flowing for it!!!!

What actually transpired in the room was magical beyond our expectations.  The event was oversold and all the seating had to be changed to accommodate the larger group but everyone was gracious in making it work. There was a strong buzz, reunions among very established artists with long histories in the Boston art scene, networking among wearable art lovers and artists, and even a table that included a newborn!  Participating artists hailed from Maine to Nantucket and attendees came from throughout the North Shore, Boston, and western suburbs. Our panelists, who had only come together that evening, covered a lot of territory in their remarks and fully engaged the audience.  Their success is borne out in the feedback below.  Clearly they were an all-star panel and the centrifugal force to inspire the evening!

A fantastic event.  World class panel . . .I learned so much and felt inspired!

This event was created and staged by a very small group of volunteers, and seARTS wishes to thank each of them for their contribution (Beth, Laurel, Chrissy, Anita, JoAnn, et al). Special thanks to Camilla MacFadyen, who envisioned and executed the entire exhibit, to the runway artists who brought their 2013 and 2015 looks back for the event, and to the exhibiting artists whose work adorned the room.

Such a show erases the boundaries between art and fashion, leaving you with a sense that fashion is art made comfortable so you can carry it around with you. Lets your mind go beyond the feasible to the unlikely, then makes it happen. Wonderful!

The Salon kicked off a very exciting series of important happenings in Wearable Art that will take place over the next year.  As presented by Paula Richter, Curator of Exhibits and Research, the Peabody-Essex Museum will be opening the WOW Exhibit from New Zealand in February, 2017. What’s thrilling for us is that the seARTS Wearable Art group is working collaboratively with the Museum to showcase a select group of local artists during the pre-opening event, PEM-at-Night party, February 16, 2017. The PEM events and exhibit through June 2017 are a perfect on-ramp to the 2017 Celebrate Wearable Art runway show!  This is just the beginning and we look forward to building this effort with artists and art lovers throughout the region!   Thank you to all who have shared our enthusiasm and journey.

Feedback by the numbers:

  • 95% of respondents learned “something new about wearable art”
  • 87% gave our panel 4 or 5 stars
  • 100% were exposed to new artists and 85% will seek them out during the Holidays!
  • 87% would recommend this program to a friend