Creativity flows through wearable art in Kinetic Skulpture Race

PORT TOWNSEND — Teenage fashion designer Hana McAdam touts tonight’s festivities as something like the Kinetic Skulpture Race, that famed October event that flows through this town.

And the inaugural Wearable Art Show, titled “From Beautiful Apparel to Beyond Belief,” will be unconventional creations in motion — only they will be flowing through an indoor space, on a runway rather than a road.

“It’s a PT twist on a fashion show,” McAdam said.

The event — we’ll call it “Beyond” for short — is a parade of 27 works of wearable art through the ballroom at the Madrona MindBody Institute at Fort Worden State Park, 200 Battery Way, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25 to see the fashions by 18 artists from around the Pacific Northwest.

Proceeds will benefit the Jefferson County Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls, which makes grants to local nonprofits seeking to make a difference in girls’ and women’s lives here. For information, visit or phone 360-379-3667.

The Madrona institute’s doors will open at 7 p.m. so attendees can come early. After the show, the audience is invited to stay for a champagne reception with the artists.

Necktie vest

A few of the pieces to be unveiled: a vest made of neckties, a repurposed wedding gown, an outfit made of papier mache and another made from a roll of caution tape.

Teri Nomura, a local Realtor and a veteran wearable-art maker whose work has been shown around the nation, has pieces in “Beyond,” as does Beverly Michaelsen, who built her piece from finds in her Port Townsend consignment shop, Wandering Wardrobe.

Wire sculptor Margie McDonald also has two pieces of her own in the show and, as an artist-in-residence at Port Townsend High School, has mentored a group of art 
students there.

Those students will give a short presentation, with about 10 wearable-art works, during the show.

High school students

McAdam, 14, is one of the youngest contributors to “Beyond,” along with her Port Townsend High School classmates Anna Moore, 15, and Annalise Rubida, 14.

Inspired by Korean artist Do-Ho Suh’s room-filling work “Some/One” at the Seattle Art Museum, McAdam has constructed a dress of paper, bits of wood and cloth.

“It’s mostly a big train of paper,” she said, adding that “Some/One,” a giant robe made of deceased soldiers’ dog tags, showed her how layers of small things can turn into a large and impressive whole.

Rubida and Moore, meanwhile, will model dresses made of nontraditional materials.

Moore’s is composed of leaves — bright green at the top, then fading to brown, and then to skeletal at the hem — to reflect the process of natural decomposition.

Rubida built a dress out of a photograph, printed over and over and shaped into a flapper-style silhouette.

Other models in “Beyond” include Jan Burr, Kay Goetz and Teresa Verraes of Port Townsend, while Shelly Randall, a local actress who has appeared in Key City Public Theatre productions including “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe” and “Oleanna,” will serve as mistress of ceremonies.

Best in show award

One of the outfits will win the best in show award, which comes with a $250 cash prize; a student award and a people’s choice prize also will be handed out.

Anna Nasset, owner of the Artisans on Taylor Gallery, will be the judge for the best in show and student honors.

The prize donors are Russ Hoover of Edward Jones Investments, Akamai Art & Glass Supply, the Clothes Horse and the Wandering Wardrobe, all of Port Townsend.

Event Chairwoman Debbi Steele is marveling at the variety of materials that will clothe the “Beyond” models.

There are silks and leather, sea shells and beach glass, even a dress made of wire.

“You have to see this to believe it,” she said. “Fashionistas: Don’t miss this movable feast for the eyes.”

“We have created a fun, zany, music- and light-filled moving gallery ­— the runway — where these eye-popping art pieces can have their say,” Randall added.

“Beyond’s” winning works will be taken to the Northwind Art Center’s Showcase Gallery, 2409 Jefferson St., Port Townsend, to remain on display through June 30.


Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3550 or at

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