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Philinda Gallery hosts wearable art show

Wren Wertin
Vail Daily/Melinda KrusePhilinda Gallery enjoys hosting theme shows, the most being a wearable art show.
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Philinda Gallery is hosting their first wearable art show. The gallery, known for it1s wide variety of art pieces, particularly likes to host theme shows.

3For this particular show we1ll be bringing artists from Montana, New York, California and, of course, Colorado, to try and present the most fun collection of wearable art for people here,² said Linda Waldbaum, who owns the gallery with her husband. 3I have coats, jackets, weavings, hand mitts, collage-type sweaters, many mixed things. Everything is handmade, nothing is made quickly.²

Among the myriad of objects are scarves made by Valery Guignon in Dallas. Guignon has been making these particular scarves for three years, and they1re still popular.

3They have windows in them with little objects inside,² said Waldbaum. 3You could spend an hour just looking at your scarf, and they1re weighted so they stay wherever you put them, however you wrap them.²

Guignon has been a beachcomber since she was a child.

3These scarves came about because of my love of the fun stuff you find on the beach,² said Guignon. 3I1ve always loved natural things, and I figured out a way to wear them close to my body. And they work because everyone else likes to wear them, too.²

As any shell-gatherer knows, the waves sometimes throw sea-tumbled glass pieces onto the sand. It1s rare, but it does happen. Guignon opts for a more consistent source. She buys the brighter-colored glass, and then gives it to an 85-year-old retired stained glass artist. He spends his days watching quiz shows and cutting the pieces. His daughter tumbles them, and then gives them back to Guignon. As for the softer-colored glass, she receives packages from a recycled glass company whenever they have pieces that break. The often do.

3And the sea shells, I just have to fly to Florida every once in a while and pick up sea shells,² she said. 3My inner child just loves it.²

Guignon1s mother has passed away, but she1s certain she1s looking down at her as she makes her scarves.

3I know she1s saying, OI can1t believe she1s making a living using all that stuff she made me drag home from the beach.1²

The wearable art show has been in the works for a while.

3When we go to art shows, we1ve been making relationships with the artists whenever we can,² said Waldbaum.

One of her suppliers has sweaters hand-made in Nepal. After they achieved a measure of success in the U.S., they built the knitters a five-story building in Nepal, and also gives them benefits.

Another woman they represent makes her own yarn, from which she creates fabrics, and then makes jackets and scarves.

Some of the wearable art is jewelry. Avara Yaron works in 22-karat gold, and creates handmade, one-of-a kind pieces. She also makes some clothing, handbags, sarongs and kimonos.

3One style of handbag is brocade silk with carved wood handles,² she said. 3Others are inlaid with cinnamon stick and akarwangi, which smells like sandalwood. I do a large tote called the fragrant tote, with handles made of cinnamon sticks.²

The cinnamon stick doesn1t need lacquer, as it1s woven with cotton.

3I love beauty. I feel that I1m here in the world to work with and create beauty,² she said.

A variety of the artists, including Yaron, will be on hand at Philinda Gallery for the three-day show. Call 926-9265 for more information.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at wrenw@vaildaily.com or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.


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