Just in time for spring, the Philadelphia Art Alliance is running its third annual craft show, ARTwear, a showcase of hand crafted jewelry, wearable art and accessories.
A reception took place Thursday evening, marking the opening of the event. Guests were given the opportunity to partake in private tours of the vendors, speak with the artists and enjoy cocktails and hors d’ouevres.
This unique weekend-long sale brings together over 25 local and regional artisans to share their specialized craft and the inspiration behind their work with the Rittenhouse community.
One of the featured artists is Kathy Robinson, a Drexel alumni who studied fashion design. Robinson has been working as an artist and designer for over 35 years and has been a partner at the Aritsta Gallery in Mt. Airy for the past six years.
The beautiful colors and designs seen in her work are the result of an intricate fabric dying and waxing process known as batik. The technique, which originated in Indonesia, involves waxing and dying white fabric until the desired colors and designs are achieved. Robinson said she uses mostly silk for her pieces because not only did she want to learn to design the garment, but the fabric as well. Each piece is truly original and usually takes several weeks to make.
The pieces included in Robinson’s collection at the Art Alliance reflect her interest in Japanese woodcuts, medieval textiles and the palette and patterns of the Italian Renaissance. Handmade silk vests, scarves and wraps are all available for purchase through the weekend.
Also showing at the event is returning artist Sarah A. Myers of Sarah Print Studio. Myers uses traditional metalsmithing techniques to mix the organic with inorganic, as she combines sterling silver with freshwater pearls to make one of a kind necklaces, bracelets and earrings. The items in the collection are often made of sterling and fine silver, 14-karat gold and pearls for color. The individual pieces can take up to about 18 hours to make.
Myers, who studied printmaking, design and metalsmithing at University of the Arts, said she originally hated metalsmithing when she learned it in school. For over 30 years, Myers worked as a printmaker but said that metalsmithing is now her passion.
ARTwear will run through Sunday evening. In addition to the vendors, The Philadelphia Art Alliance will host lectures and demonstrations by guest artists and curators including nationally recognized independent curator Bruce Hoffman and edgy jewelry artist and educator Doug Bucci. Admission to shop for the weekend is $10 and can be purchased at the door. A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to support future exhibitions and programming at The Philadelphia Art Alliance.
The Philadelphia Art Alliance is located at 251 S. 18th St.
Visit the Philadelphia Art Alliance for a full list of artists and vendors included in the event.