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Wearable Art Gala returns—this time at Laurel Packinghouse

Centre for Arts and Technology students Darcie Rudyk and Shelby Hipfner work on their two-piece dress for the Wearable Art Gala, their piece is Unkissed City. - Doug Farrow
Centre for Arts and Technology students Darcie Rudyk and Shelby Hipfner work on their two-piece dress for the Wearable Art Gala, their piece is Unkissed City.
— image credit: Doug Farrow

You might not be able to set your clock by it, but the daylight savings switch marks the beginning of a very important countdown in Kelowna—the race to the Wearable Art Gala.

Now in it's ninth season, the Wearable Art Gala fundraiser for the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art has become one of the arts scene's most interesting affairs.

Venue changes and different experiments in party planning have seen it through some highs and lows, but the one constant is that it always promises something totally unique as artists from around Kelowna offer up their interpretations of wearable art, including everything from a dress made of chopsticks to life-size, dancing sushi.

Each piece of art is showcased in a performance on stage, followed by an after party.

DJ Mark Mishadow, a promising young electronic music artist who is also starting a new music festival in Enderby this summer, will provide the sound backdrop for the event and said it's a great place for him to showcase the new style he's developing.

"When you're starting out, you want the headlining spot and that tends to be the really hard, electro house music," said Mishadow. "After a few years, that starts to relax and you realize you have to adapt to the mood of your job. Now I'm working on stuff that's a little lighter on the ears, swing house, more transitional. It's just happier."

Mishadow will work with the artists to set a tone for each of the 50 wearable art presenters and set the stage for an enjoyable evening in the after party. He's bringing in two other DJs to help him—DJs Carizmic and Lefrog—and spent this week working with student artists at the Centre for Art and Technology to ensure he gets it all right.

The Wearable Art event is all about helping new artists in a variety of genres develop their skills and get their name out there, whether it be for their work on makeup, hair, on the music end, or as the creators of each wearable piece of art; and this year is shaping up to be one of the better events.

After losing the UBCO students who formed the backbone of the art entries in the last couple of years, event organizer Jennifer Pickering says the UBCO department creative studies is back on board and, for the first time, the Centre for Arts and Technology's fashion program will also be in the fray.

The theme for this year is the five senses and Mishadow said he's already worked with some artists developing an ambitious approach to the smell portion of that challenge.

The event runs March 31 at the Laurel Packinghouse. Tickets are now on sale through Select Your Tickets for $45, which includes entrance to the after party. After party tickets alone are $15 and available at the door. For additional information see www.alternatorcentre.com

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