Wearable Art Show donned this weekend in Port Townsend

Last year’s People’s Choice award winning piece, “Swan Lake: not so black and white,” by Galadriel Nichols. (Phil Baumgartner)

Last year’s People’s Choice award winning piece, “Swan Lake: not so black and white,” by Galadriel Nichols. (Phil Baumgartner)

PORT TOWNSEND — This year’s Port Townsend Wearable Art Show will feature 48 creations by 40 artists that will take the stage Saturday for the annual fundraiser for the Jefferson County Community Foundation’s Fund for Women &Girls.

Two shows are planned at the McCurdy Pavilion in Fort Worden State Park. They are at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are on sale at www.ptwearableart.com. As of Thursday evening, four tickets for $25 each were available for the evening show and 86 tickets at $30 each for the matinee.

The event is part art exhibit and part fashion show, according to adviser Debbie Steele.

“There are two things that are really exciting me about this year’s show,” Steele said. “One is the music. We did a whole new approach this year. Chair Marla Althouse and artistic director Margie McDonald decided to use royalty-free music, so the music is dramatic and exciting and fun and we can post clips of the show online now.”

The artists, who have spent months creating their pieces, will be judged Saturday by Lisa Lynes of North Idaho College and Anne Hirondelle, an abstract ceramist living in Port Townsend.

The hair and makeup of the models will be judged by Tanna Kettle of Port Townsend. A people’s choice vote will be taken during the audience presentation.

“Some of the drawings of the pieces I’ve seen are fantastic,” Steele said. “If they come in anything like their applications, this is going to be a really dynamic show.”

Artists are competing for such awards as best in show, with a $2,500 prize; people’s choice, with a $500 prize; and best use of material, with a $300 prize.

Prizes this year total $5,800, according to a news release from the Wearable Art Show.

Awards will be presented immediately after the evening show.

This year’s show includes a number of local artists such as Joyce Wilkerson, who runs a weaving studio business and has participated in every Wearable Art Show. In 2015, she won the best of fashion category with her A Street jacket.

Donna Lark-Weiner, who recently relocated to Port Townsend from Michigan, will be participating in her first Wearable Arts Show. According to a news release, Lark-Weiner creates her pieces using a felting technique, which means there are no seams and each garment is custom-fit.

Lark-Weiner is collaborating with her husband, Jeff Lark, who is a sculptor. He designed small wearable pieces made of metal that add to Lark-Weiner’s designs.

Artists from British Columbia and from as far away as Minnesota and Mexico are coming to Port Townsend to participate.

There are 35 pieces submitted in the wearable art category.

“Those are the really wild and wonderful ones,” Steele said.

There are also 15 fashion pieces that will be for sale in the boutique before and after the show.

“That’s the other thing we’re doing differently this year,” Steele said. “The boutique used to only be at intermission, so people were crowding in trying to buy things in 15 minutes. This year, it will be open before and after the show.”

Each year, the show also incorporates student entries. This year, 11-year-old Ruby Mills will be one of seven students showing wearable art pieces.

Mills’ “Mother of the Sea Creatures” piece is made almost entirely of trash she picked up off local beaches and wove into a fishing net she created.

The best student piece has a prize of $250.

The event helps support the Fund for Women &Girls, which is part of the Jefferson Community Foundation. The fund provides grants and community engagement to help empower women and girls in Jefferson County.

In the past six years, the fund has given $26,000 in grants to Dove House, Olympic Community Action Programs, Centrum and the Empowerment Project.

“This is what the show is really all about,” Steele said.


Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

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