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'Art of Fashion' opening at NACC

Fri, Aug 18th 2017 04:45 pm
Co-curator Mary Grace Ohrum (center) with wearable art models.
Co-curator Mary Grace Ohrum (center) with wearable art models.
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Arts extravaganza includes Dance of Fireflies, 'Transformation' finale
By Lauren Garabedian
The Niagara Arts and Cultural Center will highlight fashion designers in a versatile collection of exhibits and events in its "Art of Fashion" extravaganza, taking place from Friday, Aug. 25, to Sunday, Oct. 8, at the Townsend Gallery, 1201 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls.
Exhibit hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Maria McLaughlin and Mary Grace Ohrum serve as curators for "Art of Fashion," an exhibit that will premiere fashion, fabrics, textiles, wearable art and illustrations.
"The audience will be shocked and surprised by how our designers can take everyday items and recycle them into beautiful showpieces," McLaughlin said. "We want the 'Art of Fashion' to hit not just your visual senses, but all of them."
The event will showcase the creations of multiple artists, including Ohrum, who fabricates wearable artwork that has been worn internationally. Others include Medis Kent, a seamstress and Susan Borden, a designer, Ohrum said.
Leading off "Art of Fashion" will be Dance of the Fireflies from 1-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, along Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls. Presented by Old Falls Street and 24 Below Gallery & Café, organizers said, "It's a magical happening of costumes, vendors, food, events, and a nighttime glow parade."
A free event, daylong activities will feature arts and crafts, dance performances, costume designs, storytelling and whimsical entertainment.
Recalling its origin, Ohrum said the event was intended to spotlight the developing arts culture in the Falls.
"In 2014, my friends Andrea and Tina Galyn opened up their gallery, 24 Below," she said. "While brainstorming ideas to attract people to the gallery, I had a vision of dressing models in costumes and dancing around near the falls -- sort of like a performance of art type."
"We have our own firefly godmother, Violet Claire, who leads our parade and reads us a special story about fireflies as well," Ohrum added.
"Art of Fashion" follows on Aug. 25 at the NACC. The happening will take over three floors with vendors, vintage clothing, models, music, dancers and body art. The theme will show facets of fashion that inspired humanity over the years.
Admission for this opening event will be $10.
"Now, as we celebrate our fourth annual festival, it has grown into a much bigger event for all ages," Ohrum said. "With the help of dear friends, we now have artsy vendors, performers, a costume contest."
"Art of Fashion" culminates with the "Transformation" Wearable Art Show and Competition, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, in the NACC's Grand Theatre.
A presentation of fashion from the past, present day and the future, "Transformation" is sure to be a unique experience to visitors, McLaughlin said.
"The audience will be shocked and surprised by how our designers can take everyday items and recycle them into beautiful, breathtaking show pieces," she said.
The event will highlight periods in fashion history.
Scene one, titled "Fit for a Queen," will feature Victorian and early 20th century fashions, industrial revolution, and steampunk. Scene two will highlight the golden years of Hollywood and the birth of some iconic movie stars. Scene three will recall a time of peace, love, rock 'n' roll, and fashion of the '60s and '70s. Scene four will showcase fashions from the discos days, from the big hair and bangles of the '80s, to the hip-hop fashions of the '90s. Scene five is described as an "anything goes category" and will vary in a variety of fashion and design. Finally, scene six will take a look at the fashions of the future.
For ticket prices or more information, visit thenacc.org.
Terry Duffy contributed to this report.

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