Olympic Peninsula Art Show expands number of venues for crafty fashionistas

Posted 2/5/20

Wearable art shows have proven so popular on the Olympic Peninsula that organizers of the existing shows are teaming up with those looking to expand the number of such events even further.

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Olympic Peninsula Art Show expands number of venues for crafty fashionistas

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Wearable art shows have proven so popular on the Olympic Peninsula that organizers of the existing shows are teaming up with those looking to expand the number of such events even further.

After the Student Wearable Art Show at the Key City Public Theatre in January, the Port Townsend Wearable Art Show will mark its 10th anniversary at the McCurdy Pavilion in Fort Worden State Park on Saturday, May 9. And the organizers of the PT Wearable Art Show have been throwing their support behind the planned August debut of the Olympic Peninsula Wearable Art Show in Sequim.

According to Kim Pratt, of the Olympic Peninsula Wearable Art Committee, both groups are working to incentivize area artists to take part in not just one, but both wearable art shows, to provide them with “two amazing opportunities to display their creative wares.”

Pratt elaborated that the Port Townsend Wearable Art Show has seen “exponential growth” since its inception, to the point that demand has started to outstrip availability.

“People seem really hungry for this type of creative artwork, to the point that the Port Townsend show has sold out smaller venues,” Pratt said. “There’s an excitement about it.”

Pratt anticipates the Olympic Peninsula Wearable Art Show could draw entrants from both within and outside of the Olympic Peninsula, as far afield as Idaho, Oregon, California, Canada and even Alaska, in addition to those from Sequim, Port Angeles and Port Townsend.

But the call for artists’ deadline is Saturday, Feb. 29, even though the show itself isn’t until Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Boys and Girls Club in Sequim.

“You shouldn’t feel intimidated, even if you’re a first-time artist,” said Cherry Bibler, chair of the Olympic Peninsula Wearable Art Committee. “If you’re not sure what you’re doing, we have a variety of categories, and it’s so much fun, you should give it a try!”

Veterans of the Port Townsend Wearable Art Show will recognize the Olympic Peninsula Wearable Art Show’s categories of basic wearable art, which is fashioned from recycled or nontraditional materials, and fiber arts, which make use of quilting, weaving, knitting or felting.

But the Olympic Peninsula Wearable Art Show has added the categories of “upcycled” wearable art, which takes existing ready-to-wear garments and transforms them into “completely changed fashion,” as well as a “youth art” subcategory, for participants 18 years and younger entering any of the aforementioned categories.

“Say you have an old jean-jacket that doesn’t quite fit anymore, but you expand it by adding quilting to the seams, and you add pockets made from old curtains,” Bibler said. “That’s upcycled wearable art.”

Bibler and Pratt both noted the “hundreds of hours” that creators of wearable art often spend on their distinctive works, which is yet another reason why they believed those artists deserved another venue, to afford them more exposure for the amount of time they devote to their craft.

It’s why Bibler described the relationship between the Olympic Peninsula and Port Townsend wearable art shows as one of “cooperation,” with the shared aim of a mutually beneficial partnership.

Another benefit that Pratt touted is that the Olympic Peninsula’s Boys and Girls Club will serve as the “worthy recipient” of the event’s proceeds.

For more information, or to sign up, visit opwart.org or email opwearart@gmail.com.

The downloadable applications only require descriptive sketches, not completed submissions, but the entries will be juried.

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