Salon 2019| seARTS Showcases Wearable Art Stories at the Cape Ann Museum!
Wearable Art has become associated with Cape Ann since the founding of the seARTS Wearable Art Group in 2006. For many art lovers, it has meant an education, a chance to see looks on a runway, or a shopping experience. What has gone on behind the scenes, however, is just as interesting. While creating interest in the genre is the main mission of the group, the “offspring” of these efforts is a story in itself as are the stories of the participants themselves. Many have brought their love of design into this unique fold and participated in unique ways. The upcoming PechaKucha (PK) night at the Cape Ann Museum is a chance to find out more in a colorful, storytelling format. The event takes place on the lower level of the Museum at 7PM on Thursday, November 21st. The PK and Q&A will wrap up in one hour providing a chance for attendees to enjoy the museum’s exhibits.
The seARTS Wearable Art Group has invited a diverse group to tell their stories in the PechaKucha (chit-chat) format. For those unfamiliar with PK, the presenter shows 20 VISUAL slides for 20 seconds of commentary. Six different presentations will be given by seven creatives who are involved in different aspects of Wearable Art. In her overview of the Wearable Art Group, Jacqueline Ganim-DeFalco will pay tribute to a very special member, Mahri (years) a renowned local goldsmith who was part of the Celebrate Wearable Art shows in 2011 and 2013.
Beth Williams – Glass Bead Maker and Jeweler. Beth has been a maker for 35 years and is a co-founder of the Wearable Art Group. Her pieces are handmade with flame worked glass and precious metals. She creates contemporary elegant jewelry that balances the varied materials, resulting in unique pieces the owner can wear with comfort and pleasure.
Linda Stockman – Graphic Designer and Costume Designer – Linda has been the art director and designer for nearly all of the collateral for the the Wearable events for seARTS since the initial Wearable Art Salon. Her work is part of its DNA. What many don’t know is her amazing work as a costume designer which will be the subject of her talk.
Queen – Queen Allotey-Pappoe is a brilliant fashion designer and fiber artist, born and raised in Accra Ghana, and studied in Manchester (UK) and Boston at MassART. She now lives in Littletonr, MA. Queen won the Student Innovation Award in the 2017 CWA show. Queen’s creations are at the intersection of environmental sustainability and empowerment. Her fashion brand, Queen Adeline, features a line of Ready-to-Wear and custom pieces that incorporate 100% cotton African wax print textiles and other biodegradable fibers sourced from Ghana.
Eva Camacho-Sanchez – is a fiber artist born and raised in Andalucía, Spain now living in western Massachusetts, USA. Her work is the result of the fusion of the ancient art form of felt making with modern techniques to create new and elegant styles. She uses 100% natural and biodegradable materials, where possible locally-sourced and sustainable, with an emphasis on low environmental impact and creative processes such as reduced water consumption. Although she is devoted to felt, Eva is equally intrigued by other mediums, fibers and fabrics.
Jen Greeke – fashion & costume designer based out of Gloucester, MA. She participated in all the seARTS Celebrate Wearable Art (CWA) events (2011-18) and shared the 2017 Best of Show award for seARTS Celebrate Wearable Art for her look Paved Paradise. Jen strives to tell a story with her love of history, character and wearable art. She infuses playful color and texture to give an original spin on the inspiration/story she is either given or what comes to her. Jen received her BFA in fashion from Parsons School of Design and her MFA in Costume Design from NYU’s Tisch Design for Stage and Film. After college Jen worked on many types of production ranging from film, theater and dance. She moved back to Gloucester to start her fashion company Harpy and is currently also working on costumes for BoSoMa Dance Company. Jen and Katherine Hooper curator/choreographer of BoSoMa will share their unique collaboration that grew out of Jen’s look from CWA.
Katherine Hooper, Artistic Director, BoSoma Dance Company BoSoma Dance Company, under the artistic direction of choreographer and educator Katherine Hooper, is recognized for its daring contemporary programming encompassing both vibrant movement with athletic performance quality. In 16 seasons, BoSoma has premiered over 40 original works by Hooper and performed commissions for many outstanding organizations. BoSoma has stepped up its mission to harness the power of dance and physical movement to unlock a passion for greater learning in our schools through their Educational Outreach Programs. Its Fall Season opens November 23rd in Beverly MA.
Jacqueline Ganim-DeFalco, Cape Ann Designs sea glass jewelry designer and founder of the seARTS Wearable Art Group will focus her PK presentation on the history of the group with highlights from all of the events (2006 to present). Her presentation will include a special tribute to late Mahri (Bode) who would be celebrating 50 years as a jeweler on Cape Ann.
PKNights had been held in more than 1,142 cities worldwide. More than 3 million people have attended a PK Night. The event is sponsored by the Cape Ann Savings Bank and attendees will enjoy a reception just prior to the event.
Wearable Art Spring Kick-Off Wrap-up| Celebrating many FIRSTS!
Wearable Art is an ever-evolving genre as is the many ways to show it, share it and own it! Without a doubt, the combinations of clothing and jewelry at this show were simply exquisite. For many of us, it was the FIRST time we had a chance to mix and match our collections. For this, Clark Linehan’s amazing photos are truly worth more than 1000 words of this post! Our Friday night opening
reception was “magical” according to one of our artists. The elegance of John Hyde’s music with the colorful backdrop of wearable art was a perfect combo. The attendance was perfect for lingering all night long and trying on beautiful clothes and jewelry. We even had a “pop up” changing room for our many guests who wanted to shop! In fact it was a perfect night to mingle under the tent while Mother Nature held back the storm for just the right amount of time.
It was also the FIRST time we held an event to celebrate Spring and our FIRST appearance as part of ArtWeek, MA. This gave us the opportunity to combine our beloved fashion marketplace with two truly outstanding speakers – Martha Sutyak and Anne Lee. On Saturday- Martha provided a long check list of do’s and don’ts to anyone that wants to exhibit their work. Using a clever “exercise” Martha asked everyone to match up her boot collection (in and of itself a conversation piece) to colorful tiles of fabric to help everyone navigate their own thoughts about what works and what doesn’t in display. Stay tuned for a future post from Martha!
On Sunday, Anne Lee dissected the experience she had in researching the fiber art universe to prepare to write her book Artistry in Fiber- Wearable Art (Schiffer Publishing) . (We were also thrilled to meet her colleague & co-author Ashley Rooney on Saturday!) This event was held in the intimate dining room setting where the Inn served a scrumptious brunch! (Put the Castle Manor Inn’s Sea Glass Restaurant on your restaurant list in the coming weeks!) Anne provided wonderful advice and guidance to artists and admirers who want to see their work in print some day or are just curious about the curation process. Expect to see many future books from Anne!
It was also our FIRST time at the Castle Manor Inn and FIRST time under a tent equipped with a lovely “living room” in the middle for just hanging out and taking a shopping break! Our artists and hosts were creative in dealing with the challenges of the weather and we thank everyone for their patience and help. Most importantly, as a group we came together in new ways, forging friendships and thinking of how we can continue to grow our relationships and bodies of work.
Timeless Fashion & Colorful Fabric | Defining her brand – by Queen Allotey-Pappoe
Queen Adeline by Queen Allotey-Pappoe is a fashion design brand focused on sustainability and is inspired by the colorful culture and art of Africa. Blending clean tailored lines with colorful, printed textiles from her African heritage, rendered in modern timeless silhouettes, Queen creates clothing pieces which are wearable art, fit to adorn the human body, yet practical and functional. How are you being sustainable?
First and foremost I do not follow trends as a designer because I believe that is one of the core reasons for fast fashion, which has resulted in mass producing fashion at the expense of the environment and sometimes the human lives that are involved.
I create modern timeless pieces which are wearable art in themselves, versatile and trans-seasonal, aiming to bring individuality back and keep clothing longer in our closets. It is my belief that if people slowed down to chose and buy clothing they really needed, and felt connected to in expressing their individuality, then they will enjoy wearing it and keep that piece for a long time thereby reducing waste.
In being sustainable my process involves best practices and innovative design to help reduce my carbon footprint on the environment. There are three main foci in this quest: the impact of my work on the environment, the human lives involved in my business and the preservation of local artistry and craftsmanship. To this effect I often work in collaboration with local textile designers and seamstresses both here in Boston and in Accra, Ghana to create some of my work.
I try to incorporate minimum to zero waste concept in my design process, so that I efficiently use the least resources possible in creating my designs. To that effect, I use minimal fabric, notions and trimmings and upcycle fabric from old collection in my design.
I grew up in Accra, Ghana where the most common textile I wore was a hundred percent wax printed cotton. This is my choice of fabric in creating my designs. I chose cotton because I like to know that it is a natural fiber and it is degradable. I joke with my clients and say “once you find a Queen Adeline design that speaks to you, do me a favor, buy it and wear the fiber out of it!. When it is all done, I know if it should find itself in the ground for lack of proper disposal, I am at peace knowing the piece of clothing is biodegradable”. Most of my customers like that it comfortable on the skin, easy to care for, wears well with time and ultimately biodegradable. It is my goal to use 100% Organic cotton/ natural fibers in the next few years.
Fashion as Wearable art
The use of clothing as a means of expression is an art form from my West African Heritage passed down from generation to generation. This is vital to my design process. Traditionally Ghanaian block printed fabrics had symbols which were called “adinkra”. These symbols on the fabric and their color will convey the message and the mood of the wearer to you without uttering a word. Fast forward to today, most African print textiles found on the market today including both traditional and digitally designed textiles still carry the art form of expression through the prints on the fabric. For me the fabric tells me what it should be made into and I respect and follow that process. In effect every design I make is in collaboration with the textile and subsequently dictates the silhouette, form and function of that piece.
My mission is to inspire confidence in people, to empower them to express their ultimate selves whether at work or play whilst respecting and caring for the environment. Sustainable Fashion Design is one way I do that!
Queen received the Student Innovation Award at the 2017 Celebrate Wearable Art Event and will be here on Cape Ann with her full collection for the first time on April 26th! Grab a ticket now here!
Overcoming Obstacles| Opening up new paths for jewelry making
By Kiki Taron-Kinney
I have been a metalsmith for close to twenty years. I love everything about fabricating jewelry…. well almost anything. I have not set a stone in a handmade bezel for over a decade. I am not fond of making them mostly because I am not good at it. I also struggle with making rings, I could never get the sizing correct.
In early winter I received the course listing for the Spring session at Metalwerx in Waltham. There in black and white was a course listing for making carved heavy bezels, and in the class students would make a bezel-set ring. Was this the time to face my ring/bezel fears? I did it. I signed up for the course and paid for it right away, not over thinking it and perhaps changing my mind.
The class was a three-day weekend workshop taught by master metalsmith, Pauline Warg. As I drove to class, I kept thinking, what am I doing? I was sure I was going to make a fool of myself. When I met the instructor, I quietly told her my fears.
The first day of class flew by and everything I did went smoothly. I formed the heavy gauge silver around a beautiful Chalcedony cabochon, and I soldered it together on the first try, and then successfully soldered it to the backplate. I went home thinking I can do this.
Day two of the workshop we worked on making a very heavy ring shank to solder the backplate onto. It took most of the day. It was wonderful seeing the progress. I soldered the shank to the backplate flawlessly and the ring fit my finger as planned. I knew last day of the workshop would be fun and I had accomplished my goal of getting past my fears.
The last day of the workshop entailed setting the stone and polishing our rings on the polishing lathe. Oh no, one more fear to overcome! I was terribly afraid of the lathe. The instructor walked us through the proper and safe steps in using the lathe. I was very nervous but slowly I got the hang of it. The feeling of accomplishment was incredible.
Reflecting on the class, I realize that part of why the class went so well for me is that I am not the same metalsmith I was 10 years ago. My skills and techniques are much more refined making each task much easier. I am so glad that I chose to try and overcome my fears. I see a lot of heavy carved bezel wires and rings in my future!
You can find me at the upcoming seARTS Wearable Art event on April 26-28 at the Castle Manor Inn or via any of my social media channels!
QuitsaKiki Designs. via email.
Via my Website. On Facebook: FB QuitsaKiki Designs or Instagram quitsakiki
Focal Jewelry Designs started with a small curiosity of the inner workings of old film cameras and has evolved into a full jewelry business. After an unfortunate fall on my camera lens while hiking with friends, I took it apart to see what was inside. The parts were more beautiful than I could have imagined and I thought it would make interesting jewelry. After many unsatisfying attempts of making jewelry without any training, I sought out a soldering course through a local community arts organization (Sharon Arts Center). This provided the tools to bring the designs I had in my mind to life. My method of designing the jewelry is to strip each camera part down into its most simple form and then design from that point. This creates a truly unique design and does not rely on the complexity of the camera for the beauty. I love the challenge of each piece and how the project had evolved over time.
Krista is showing her work with the seARTS Wearable Art Group for the first time! Join us in welcoming her the weekend of April 26-28th. Tickets for opening night are available in advance. Register here.