On March 31, the Laurel Packing House was home to a sensational evening designed to challenge every guest's sense of sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. It was funky, it was fabulous, and it was everything one would hope to see at an event that featured 50 creative pieces of wearable art.
Mother Nature stands waiting to reveal her surprise
The evening began with guests arriving in every form of attire possible from funky to downright fabulous. A lone figure stood illuminated on the stage. She is Mother Nature, represented as a tree, complete with branches protruding from her shoulders. Her back is painted to resemble bark and her outfit is flowing and hides a surprise. After 45 minutes of barely moving (as guests find their seats and get their drinks) she turns to the crowd and opens her skirt to let a darkened figure emerge. This piece is Wake-up and Smell the Truth.
The artists/performers included first-year visual arts students from UBC Okanagan Campus and students from the CATO Fashion Design Program. It was a night not soon to be forgotten as the students walked the catwalk and mingled with guests to show off their artist flair. There were plenty of bugs, bling and bawdy comments from M.C. Michael V. Smith to keep the night moving along smoothly. Everything from toy soldiers, to bubble wrap, to rubber gloves and pieces of metal were used to create highly imaginative pieces of wearable art.
And the winners were:
Sun Kissed City
First place: Sun Kissed City - Fashion Design students from the Centre for Arts and Technology. Kelowna came to life in this wearable art piece. It displayed all of Kelowna's most famous attractions, from the legendary Ogopogo to the snow peaked mountains, rolling vineyards, and majestic lake. All this warmed under the beautiful Okanagan Sunshine.
Second place: Recreation - Jessica Dennis. Materials: Bone, antler, metal, feather, leather, flowers, branches, pine needles. Nature's spine connects with us all. This piece represented how the natural world supports each living being. Yet all is not well and faces block the view of destruction, diverting our attention to the inner self.
Jessica Dennis is congratulated by
Nicole Nybo of Gonzo Online for her second place win, while third place winner model Shimshom Obadia looks on
Third place: Armor for Shimshom - modelled by Shimson Obadia - created by Tim Smith. Description: Subverting our love of soft, comfortable wearables, this piece was constructed of hard industrial materials, which contribute to the soundscape of our cities while building mass and space. The fact that it looked like a rather mechanical set of male genitalia didn't hurt either as the balls were clanged loudly as Obadia paraded down the runway.
Last but not least was the Peoples' Choice given to Lauren Bell for Music Crazed. This piece consisted of velvet, a leather jacket, CDs, cardboard boxes, records. The shattered CDs created quite the studded effect on the entire piece.
WAG Organizer Extraordinaire Jennifer Pickering with
People's Choice Award Winner Lauren Bell and presenter George Cwiklewski
First prize was awarded $300, second $150 and third prize $75, with second and third prizes sponsored by Meiklejohn Architects. The people's choice award winner was given $300, an award sponsored by George Cwiklewski.
Santa Tom aka Sleighrider Media (http://sleighridermedia.com/) took hundreds of great photos that night, including the ones above. To see them visit his page on Facebook.
Next year's gala is promising to be just as entertaining as 2012. Several of the guests attending for the first time remarked this was going to be on their 'things to see' list for 2013.
The Wearable Arts Gala is a fundraiser for the Alternator Gallery, located in the Rotary Centre for the Arts.
Don't miss artist David Wilson's show: Power Comes in the Form of a Circle. Click here for info on the exhibit
Friday, April 6, 7 p.m. is the opening reception. The show runs to May 20th.
Power Comes in a Form of a Circle is an exhibition of painted deer hide ceremonial drums based on the pictographs found on several sites in the Okanagan. The David Wilson (Okanagan Nation artist from Vernon) explores the mythical narratives of the Okanagan First Nation's people and creates a re-interpretation of traditional stories.
Fore more information on the Alternator Centre for Contemporary art go to www.alternatorcentre.com.