The Homer Fiber Arts Collective and Bunnell Street Arts Center powered up its time machine last Saturday for the 2018 Wearable Arts show.
Titled “Time Traveling,” the annual exhibit of couture, fashion, handcrafted art and just plain silliness added a new twist this year. Along with recent works — many done through Artist in Residence Keren Lowell’s workshops this fall — the show included fiber art created in and reflecting the style of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, along with some some playful anachronisms. Kari Multz, one of the artistic producers, came up with the Time Traveling idea. Helping her produce the show were Lynne Burt, Marie Walker and AnnMargret Wimmerstedt.
Held at Land’s End Resort, show organizers set up the traveling concept with ushers in jumpsuits and holding light wands. Looking like Leonardo DiCaprio faking an airline pilot in “Catch Me As You Can,” “Captain” Michael Walsh walked around with a cocktail glass that he insisted only had water. Wearing a snappy pillbox hat and 1960s-style uniform, flight attendant Asia Freeman, Bunnell’s artistic director, served guests seated in special first class front rows.
The retrospective part of Wearable Arts offered a look back at some of the talent that started the show. Burt helped start Wearable Arts about 35 years ago when it was called Steppin’ Out. Burt said she was pleased to see work by longtime artists like Nancy Wise, Kiki Abrahamson, Linda Skelton, Kathy Smith, Judy Little and others.
“When you see those pieces come back, we forgot how awesome some of that stuff is,” Burt said.
Along with the retrospective works, Wearable Arts featured more than 50 new pieces. The Homer Fiber Arts Collective sewers, knitters and crafters focus on well-made works that can be worn as everyday wear or for special occasions. Some entries use the human body as platform for imaginative sculptures, like Lucas Thoning’s “Anthronetic Technlogy” that included an iPad or Julie Tomich’s “Space Fish” with wire, copper, bull kelp and LED lights.
Art on exhibit at Bunnell for Lowell’s residency also was modeled. Playing with the idea that time occasionally got warped, some of Lowell’s works became costumes for skits. “Rough Beast,” described as “a spectre of dread” is made of fur, hair and bone, and was part of a prehistoric scene that also included Carla Cope’s “Mammoth’s Night Out” and Christine Kulcheski’s “Coyote Huntress.”
Two other Lowell works, “Ozymandias,” a plaster of paris armor plate, and “Worry Coat,” a tunic with found objects, were worn by Craig Phillips and Adele Person playing lost Roman citizens.
“Where are their slaves?” Phillips asked.
“These people are slaves, and their masters are called ‘smart phones,’” Person replied.