Meg Johnson of Arroyo Grande is excited. She has stepped “outside the box” of her usual medium, clay, to participate in an entirely new craft — art wear.
“It helps you with design and color and texture and relates to my work in ceramics,” she said.
She showed me how she was able to “revamp” an old, black polka-dot sweater. “Upside-down, it’s a shrug,” she said.
Art wear is an eclectic mix of thrift store makeovers and old clothing from one’s closet. Johnson has been taking a class called Ragtime from Melinda Forbes. Out of Forbes’ class through Cuesta College grew a group of artists, calling itself the Ragtime Group.
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Forbes said it’s “all recycled clothing, accessories, design and remakes.” Members decided to hold benefits, the first one being for the SLO Noor Foundation Free Clinic. Forbes and Anne Gough, owner of Yarns at the Adobe, organized the Art Wear Fashion Show.
Lena Rushing of Grover Beach is a local painter and was asked to contribute. She has had her paintings in local and solo shows. She “painted a couple of owls on a shirt” to donate because she likes to donate to good causes.
The Noor Clinic grabbed her interest because as a self-employed artist, she has no health coverage.
Last year, when she needed money for a surgery, the community provided support.
Ursula Black of Arroyo Grande normally paints and writes poetry, besides her day job of teaching Spanish. When asked to donate something to the art wear show, she felt that it was a “nice challenge” because she has “always fiddled with her own clothing — giving new purpose to old clothes.”
Black created “an urban rendition of a sailor dress,” calling it May-T, after the name of a little girl she tutors. It’s entirely made of T-shirt material, using a variety of shirts from her children and husband.
“I didn’t have any idea of how it was going to come out,” she said.
Her mother had bought her a heavy-duty sewing machine a couple of years ago, allowing her more ways to alter clothing she buys at thrift stores. She was thrilled when she learned that the proceeds will go to the Noor Clinic.
“It’s a wonderful cause — I couldn’t think of a better inspiration for creating,” she added.
The Noor Foundation is a volunteer-based non-profit dedicated to providing free health care to uninsured people living within the community, “regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, immigration or socioeconomic status.” It is at 1428 Phillips Lane in San Luis Obispo, 439-1797.
The clinic provides physical exams, women’s health, men’s health, laboratory testing, case management, eye exams, glasses and more.
The Art Wear Fashion Show will be held in the garden at Yarns at the Adobe at 964 Chorro St. in San Luis Obispo from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday. It’s touted as a “one-of-a-kind” clothing sale and specialty yarn sale, somewhere from “restyled to couture.”
There will be “delicious small plates,” adobe oven pizzas, wine, a fashion raffle and live music. Tickets are $40. Call Anne Gough at 549-9276 for more information.
Gayle Cuddy’s column is special to The Tribune. She and Cynthia Lambert write the South County Beat column on alternating Wednesdays. Reach Cuddy at 489-1026 or email@example.com.