GCCA’s New Wearable Arts Exhibit to Feature the Intersection of Art and Fashion
Exhibit includes thirty New York designers plus a professional fashion show
Calendar Entry: Greene County Council on the Arts’ “Wearable Arts” group exhibition. July 30 through September 17, 2016. Opening Reception, Saturday July 30, 5-7 p.m. GCCA Catskill Gallery, 398 Main Street, Catskill, NY. Gallery Hours: M-F 10-5, Sat. 12-5. FREE. www.greenearts.org, 518-943-3400
Greene County Council on the Arts’ new Wearable Arts exhibit features the intersection of art and fashion through designs by thirty New York designers. On view July 30 through September 17, 2016, with an opening reception Saturday, July 30, 2016 from 5-7pm, the Wearable Arts exhibit is co-curated by fashion experts Michele Saunders and Jojo Americo.
Thirty New York designers are featured in GCCA’s new Wearable Arts exhibit lead by co-curator and featured artist Jojo Americo. Having worked for jewelry designer Glen Yank, and then for 17 years as the designer for Patricia Field’s windows (before Sex and The City and The Devil Wears Prada), Americo went on to create his own clothes, shoes and jewelry (he is the creative director of 1919-Jewelry For Happy People), in addition to painting, collecting, and being a singing, songwriting member of dance music group The Ones.
Like his muses Patricia Field and Vivienne Westwood, Americo is attracted to color, fabrics and textures and looks like an eclectic Shakespearean thespian with rich details that put him over the top in a great way. His signature style includes vintage capes loaded up in beaded Afghan jewelry of his own design, and a scarf tied beneath a dramatic hat – sometimes with a few piled on top, too.
Americo is joined in the Wearable Arts exhibit by twenty-nine other designers representing a broad spectrum of men’s, women’s and unisex clothing, jewelry and accessories. Designs range in fabrics and construction, from Kate Hamilton’s wood and ‘silk’ burlap jacket (made with silken burlap, shingles, tree wrap, staples and thread) to LALOON’s painted silk dresses and Brian Kenny’s collage-like jerseys.
Designers also represent a wide variety of professional experiences and styles. Jose Chardiet, a recent graduate of the Studio Arts program at Bard College who makes denim pants made from two distinct pairs of carpenter jeans, deconstructed and attached with zippers so that they can be flipped upside-down and worn in two directions, is just beginning his professional designer career; while Chris Barreto, a Brazilian multimedia artist based in New York City, has had her vibrant hand-painted dresses exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum and The American Museum of Natural History, featured in Vogue Italia, Vogue Japan and The Village Voice, and worn by multiple celebrities, including singer MADONNA.
Likewise, some pieces are more straightforward, like the tee-shirts printed with paintings by painter and poet Jack Walls, while others are more intricate, like Ruby Silvious’ teabag kimonos – one wearable, the other meant to hang on the wall. Silvious, who is best known for her 363 Days of Tea series, created her first teabag kimono specifically as an entry to the Recycled Runway call for art. The wearable kimono is composed of a little over 400 tea bags, and the one that will hang on the wall has 350. Both will be displayed in GCCA’s Wearable Arts exhibit.
“The show we put together is all about items and object made by human hands and machines, color and cross-cultures with a firm grip on the here and now, current and futuristic moods,” says co-curator Jojo Americo. “The designers’ works may vary in style, but still each artist is super passionate about their designs. This show is really a celebration of creation.”
Co-curator Michele Saunders, a ‘street casting’ expert and former representative for the world’s most innovative fashion and art photographers, including Art Kane, Steve Hiett and Uwe Ommer, agrees. “Jojo and I were very impressed with the variety of styles in the submissions,” Saunders says. “We went for designers that were innovative, and at the same time had a sense of humor. All the designers have great style and the quality of the work is impeccable, from fabulous linens and great cuts, to funky, urban hand-made designs. What they all have in common is that they are very now.”
Another common denominator is that all of the designers either live in upstate New York, or have some connection to upstate, which was important to the curators. “We were able to get most people from here,” says Saunders, who lives in Catskill, “but even the designers from the city have a connection to up here. People appreciate this area.”
In addition to a gallery exhibit, Greene County on the Arts also plans to showcase the Wearable Arts designs in its first ever fashion show at newly renovated event space Joe’s Garage on August 13, 2016 from 5-7pm. The fashion show will feature a runway performance of all thirty designers’ work, as well as trunk sales by Kasuri, Look Hudson, Brooklyn Industries, LALOON, and Artists and Revolutionaries, a silent auction for shopping sprees with Jojo Americo (in NYC or Hudson, NY) and makeover consultations with Face Stockholm. Paul Alexander of dance group The Ones will MC the event, and legendary musician Michael de Benedictus will provide the music. There will be a cash bar and dance party until 9pm. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased here.
“With GCCA opening the door we are able to create something ground-breaking, exciting and new in Catskill,” Saunders says. “It’s great to make an event like this here.”
Join Michele Saunders, Jojo Americo and all the designers (full list below) at the opening reception for Wearable Arts exhibit on Saturday, July 30, 2016 from 5-7pm at Greene County Council on the Arts, 398 Main Street, Catskill, NY.
WEARABLE ARTS designers (full list)