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Arts Hound

Sniffing out what you shouldn't miss in the arts this week
Mitra Chester and MECCA’s Maiya Becker check out a ‘mystery box’ for Metamorphose
Mitra Chester and MECCA’s Maiya Becker check out a ‘mystery box’ for Metamorphose

Metamorphose is back, baby. The third annual upcycled fashion and art show hosted by St. Vincent de Paul April 23 is slated to become an Earth Day weekend favorite. 

“It’s something that engages the community, honors our artists locally and people get to participate with voting for their favorite pieces,” says Mitra Chester, SVdP’s resident designer.

This year, Chester says, there are nine designers, seven of whom have never competed in Metamorphose. The event is not merely a runway show but a challenge for designers and artists to use their creative talents to steer materials out of the waste stream. 

And the design challenge has a new twist that began in February: Five sponsors — REI, Lane Transit District, Tracy Sydor Photography, Caffe Pacori and Eugene Weekly — each donated a box of “waste.” In February, each designer chose a box, the contents of which had to be incorporated into the three designs that will travel down the catwalk. 

“They received a mystery box; they had no idea what was inside of it,” Chester says. “That’s what they have to use, so we’ll be seeing what comes from it this Saturday,” she adds with a laugh.

Local artists have their own unique challenge: to reimagine a piece of art provided by SVdP. 

“The interesting thing to me that came up with the artists is when they received the piece of art they felt like they were defacing someone else’s art,” Chester says. So Chester met with participating artists and explained that the art had already been out on the sales floor and had not sold, or the pieces were incomplete and damaged works of art that couldn’t be sold. 

“It’s a silent collaboration with this unknown artist” that gives the work a new life, Chester says. 

See the culmination of months of design and artwork 6 pm Saturday, April 23, at Hi-Fi Music Hall; $7 adults, $5 youth. A local celebrity panel will vote for winners, and there will be a people’s choice award.

Schmooze time: The Arts & Business Alliance of Eugene and the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce host Arts After Hours, the annual networking event bringing together art and business communities, 5 to 7 pm Thursday, April 28, at Lane Community College Downtown Center for Meeting and Learning; $15 general, $8 for chamber members. Visit bit.ly/1q4aWxN for info.

Karin Clarke Gallery wants your art. The downtown gallery, in collaboration with City of Eugene Cultural Services, is hosting the inaugural Eugene Biennial, showcasing “artistic excellence by visual artists in our beautiful region.” The event invites artists 18 and older from Lane, Lincoln, Benton, Douglas and Coos counties to submit work, $10 each (up to two), during the month of May. Art will be jurored by Roger Saydack, Jon Jay Cruson and Karin Clarke, with cash prizes, and chosen work will be on display Aug. 3-27. Questions and applications go to eugenebiennial@gmail.com.

Community matters: It’s application time for Lane Arts Council 2016-17 Community Arts Grants, available to artists and artist groups for “accessible, affordable and inclusive projects for communities whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by ethnicity, economics or disability.” Deadline to apply is May 6. Info at lanearts.org/community-arts-grants.