For Anne Sconberg and Mark Henderson, those who attend their eponymous art parties aren’t there just to see visual and performance art; they’re there to be seen as well.
“I think it would be nice if people got dressed up more often,” Sconberg says. “Fashion is encouraged at the art party. We’ve done costumes.”
Costumes will be encouraged this year, as “Alice in Wonderland” is the theme for Anne and Mark’s Art Party, set for Sept. 24-Oct. 1 at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. Like the last party in 2014, the event will feature a fashion show. Organizers are hosting a June 18 preview, “Pivot: The Art of Fashion.”
True to its name, the preview will showcase wearable art, with pieces made from materials such as candy wrappers, bones, pins and needles, and Saran Wrap. Some of the clothing was fashioned by designers, and some by artists who usually work in other media.
“It’s not off the rack,” says Rose Sellery of Pivot. “The designers’ pieces are definitely things you could wear out, and people do buy them. The artists’ pieces are quirkier. You can’t just walk down the street in them.”
Sellery, who curated the 2014 fashion show and is doing the same for this year’s preview, says Pivot’s involvement with the art party helps introduce her Santa Cruz-based group to new audiences.
“It’s more exposure for us and our artists,” she adds. “We’re trying to create a community of textile artists and costume designers.”
The models Pivot uses are often performers such as ballet dancers and opera singers, so the group’s fashion shows generally have a performance element to them.
“Whatever the artist’s concept is, we try to help them achieve the wow factor,” Sellery says.
The preview is also an opportunity for Content Magazine subscribers to pick up the latest issue. Non-subscribers can buy a copy for $5.
Daniel Garcia, the magazine’s founder, has had work exhibited at previous art parties.
“I’ve known Daniel since he launched Content,” Henderson says. “We really wanted to do a pick-up party as part of the event. Daniel’s a fashion photographer, so it seemed like a logical connection.”
Based on the response to the 2014 fashion show, organizers are expecting a full house for the preview, being held at the Armory in downtown San Jose.
“There weren’t enough seats” at the first show, Sellery says.
The preview is a good warm-up for Sellery and crew, whose fashion show will close this year’s art party on Oct. 1.
Sconberg and Henderson agree the fashion show is another step in the evolution of their art party, which they tag as “an occasional and irrational San Jose arts fest,” given that they don’t host it on a regular basis and each party has been more lavish than the last.
“We threw a party in our house one time,” Henderson says, “and seven iterations later, we’re expecting 5,000 people at the fairgrounds.”
“Pivot: The Art of Fashion” takes place June 18 at the Armory, 240 N. Second St., San Jose. Tickets are $20 at artpartysj.com.