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October 14, 2009 > BeJeweled: Celebrate wearable art

BeJeweled: Celebrate wearable art

By Susana Nunez

The concept of wearing clothing simply to cover one's body is mundane, and much too practical. Clothing can be quite personal, a way of presenting ourselves to one another. It offers a glimpse into our personality, socio-cultural background, how we view ourselves and how we want to be viewed by others. Taking time to get glamorous in the morning says a lot about a woman as casual American culture does not have formal expectations of dress and personal adornment.

Of course, it's wonderful to be able to throw a t-shirt and jeans on for a quick errand, but there's something to be said about those who take the time to look their best every day. Small touches like a pair of earrings and a necklace can go a long way - and whatever happened to the hat? It is uncommon to see unusual accessories but applause may be due to those with such inspiration, adding an extra touch to their looks.

Personal adornment is a form of artistic expression and Olive Hyde Art Gallery is celebrating this type of creativity. "BeJeweled" will feature the wearable art of 14 artists, ranging from fine, handcrafted jewelry to masks and helmets. Several of these artists have participated in past shows; for this occasion, however, they have turned their attention to clothing and accessories that express personality and style. As Curator Sandra Hemsworth states, "Many people often remember a moment in time [when they felt empowered]...or even defined, by the style, manner, or meaning by which they [conveyed] their own personal adornment."

About 400 pieces were submitted to the show; 262 made the cut. Hemsworth wanted to be selective for the show to ensure that only the most original works were selected. "I often like to build a show that has a real range of work within a concept," she adds, "Something expected, something surprising, something modern, something that reflects history."

And this isn't limited to smaller scale pieces. One of the artists featured, Charlotte Kruk, designs and constructs garments out of packaging materials. Her "Nectar" dress is lively and colorful with a nice silhouette and... is made entirely of Flagstaff Peach Nectar packages. Kruk's concept stems from her interest in how our culture "often compares women, particularly well-dressed women, to decorations, consumable, 'eye candy.'" Designing with packaging materials is another poke at society for its lack of eco-friendly practices.

The work of artist Danny Scheible will also be featured. The title, "Masking Tape and Fabric" mask seems to say it all, but what the title doesn't tell you is the interesting result of using different colors and textures. Fabric peaks out in every which way with the help of wire hangers that give it shape and life.

Also on display is Juxtamorphic Art and Adornment by Andrew Werby. His unique molding techniques allowed him to create "Chelonia Helmet," a strong piece with the texture of a Chelonia turtle shell. His primary interest is casting molds of natural elements in order to reproduce them in a way that translates to another form. Werby states that this allows him to "divorce the forms and textures from the associations [he] had with the original objects which, [he] found, got in the way of appreciating them formally, as [he] would appreciate a work of art."

Other notable artists included in BeJeweled are the team of Nena Christina Designs, Janet Graff, Rosie Long AKA Kiowa Rose, and Beth Miller. All of their works will be on display at the exhibit from October 16 to November 14. The exhibit comes at a perfect time - before the holidays! Many of the artists will be selling some of their pieces, perfect as a unique gift.

For more information, contact Olive Hyde Art Gallery at (510) 791-4357.

October 16 to November 14
Thursday to Sunday
Noon to 5 p.m.

Friday, October 16
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Olive Hyde Art Gallery
123 Washington Blvd., Fremont
(510) 791-4357


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