‘Art Meets Fashion’ to present cutting-edge collaborations
By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt
The big buzz in the arts world this season is the C-word: Collaboration. Propelled by a nervous economy, organizations are joining together to present events they never could manage alone, and the resulting mix of energies and talents has turned a tough situation into a gift to us all.
Art Meets Fashion is one of the splashiest of these collaborations, with events scheduled from now to September, including a VIP fashion show at the international airport, exhibitions at venues in North Park and downtown, and a catwalk launch at NTC Promenade, where the public will have a chance to strut its own stuff. The entire schedule can be perused online at www.artmeetsfashion.org.
The Idea: To set up teams of artists and designers, have them come up with a theme for a project, and see what magic they can create together. Each team includes a visual artist, a fashion designer, a photographer or videographer to document the process, and a teacher to create a lesson plan from it.
The Objective: To initiate productive collaborations, spotlight the wealth of talent in San Diego, and inspire young people to get involved in the arts.
According to Patricia Frischer, co-founder of AMF and coordinator of San Diego Visual Arts Network (SDVAN), a comprehensive guide to visual artists and art events, “We really want to share the sparks that fly when you put artists and designers and documentarians and teachers together. We also want to encourage local artists to believe they can have successful careers right here in San Diego, without having to leave for Los Angeles or New York.”
How did AMF get its start? “The airport has a terrific arts program, and Constance White, the program manager, is tremendously stylish,” said Frischer. “Several years ago, when we met, I commented on her clothes, and she said, ‘If you ever want to do something at the airport, let me know.’ ”
Frischer is no stranger to ambitious arts projects. In the summer of 2009, she staged an event called “Little & Large,” which invited local sculptors to make jewelry and jewelers to make sculpture, and involved displays at 43 galleries plus a meet-the-art-stars launch at downtown’s Hotel Sé, with a catwalk over the swimming pool.
“The response was wonderful!” Frischer said. “And that made us think: There’s really a need for this!”
At the launch, Frischer met fashionista Felena Hanson, head of FOCUS (Fashion Opportunities Connect Us), a networking group for emerging professional designers. Hanson said she’d always wanted to do a project with a catwalk, she loved bringing people together, and she already had the domain name “Art Meets Fashion.”
So the first AMF team was born. From their initial public meeting in February 2010, when over 100 interested participants showed up, Frischer and Hanson knew they were on the right track. Now, after many months of planning, their numbers are impressive: 44 team members, 15 host venues, and more than 50 volunteers.
“It’s a great opportunity for everyone,” Hanson said. “Most artists and designers work in solitude. We’re giving them a chance to cross-pollinate and brainstorm and inspire each other. We’re providing exposure to new audiences, and documentation that will allow us to peek behind the scenes of the creative process. And with the educators, we’re creating opportunities for the next generation.”
If AMF’s online catalog is any indication, this is one grand collaboration you won’t want to miss. Whether you’re an artist or a fashionista at heart, come check out the local talent and party with the art-and-fashion stars.
Art Meets Fashion Events
What: VIP Fashion Show
When: April 28
RSVP required: (760) 943-0148. Limited seating.
What: AMF Public Open Catwalk Launch
When: 5-8 p.m. Friday, May 6
Where: NTC Promenade at Liberty Station
Related Exhibition: L Street Fine Art, across from the Omni San Diego Hotel at 628 L St., through May 31, with an artists’ reception 6-9 p.m. April 29 with works by San Diego artists Dan Adams, Moya Devine, Giedre Ferraz de Campos, Dana Levine, John Valois and Duke Windsor. (760) 492-2876.
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