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State of the Arts: Vermont Fashion


If you’re jonesing for more glimpses of the stylish First Family after Inauguration coverage ends, fear not . . . they’ll hit Higher Ground this Saturday. Sort of. Burlington’s Flashbags is one of three local designers showing off their wares at the third annual ONE Fashion Event, a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Burlington. Sara Wool, the club’s director of development and communications, says Flashbags, whose Obama tote was red-hot during the election frenzy, is planning a “First Family walk based on their Obama line. They’ll be dressing four models in all of their Obama gear, carrying their Obama bags.”

Also strutting the runway: the creations of Samantha Talbot-Kelly, an artist who makes colorful skirts, gauntlets and headdresses from recycled newspapers; and Mary Beth Komaromi of Huntington, whose “Green Mountain Girl” collection puts snapshots on wearables. The fashion-as-recycling principle also motivated 13 club members, aged 10 to 13, who’ve been working for about four months on their own runway outfits crafted from donated clothing using sewing machines, hand stitching, stencils and spray painting, says Wool. Though this year’s designs are top secret, she recalls one past invention: “They took recycled bike parts [donated by the Old Spokes Home] and did stencils on the clothing.”

Tickets for the ONE Fashion Event are $25 in advance or $30 on January 24, when the doors of the Higher Ground Ballroom open for cocktails at 7 p.m. More info, 864-5263.


Maven, the skate- and snowboard shop in downtown Burlington, is getting its back wall freshly painted this week. But not with any old color — more likely lots of vivid ones, courtesy of art-brut-styled painter Mikey Welsh. In the last few years, the former rocker (Weezer) has not just adopted Vermont as his home; he’s fallen under the spell of the Green Mountains and taken up snowboarding. Welsh has contributed artwork to a line of Burton boards, and earlier this month he did a live painting event for MTV at Mt. Snow’s Winter Dew Tour. Talk about embracing the cold.

This Friday, January 23, from 6 to 9 p.m., the public is invited to Maven’s Cherry Street digs to see what Welsh has put up against the wall. One sales associate assures the mural will remain up “for at least a couple of years” . . .


There’s nothing like generous donors to the arts. Especially ones who give “challenge” grants that urge the rest of us to get our givin’ on. One such benefactor — who chooses to remain anonymous — promised a match of up to $75,000 to River Arts’ capital campaign last February, and gave the Morrisville nonprofit one year to raise the rest. Well, people, that time is drawing near. As of this Monday, the organization has accrued 62 grand and change — tantalizingly close to its goal. If you want to see your money double, send it by February 5 to River Arts, POB 829, Morrisville, VT 05661.