"Family Game Night"

Artist Jackie Keizer helps Nicole Embree style the wearable art titled "Family Game Night" on Jan. 14  at the Mill at Ward Cove. Staff photo by Dustin Safranek

"Mixed Up," Ketchikan's 35th annual Wearable Art Show, isn't taking just one form this year — artists and spectators can experience the show on a boat, in the street, on a stage and even on the run.

The Wearable Art Show is a Ketchikan tradition, normally taking place in early February but postponed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ketchikan was the first community in Alaska to host an annual wearable art event, according to the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council. And for the past 35 years, artists of many mediums have been attracted to the show with one main mission: design something completely original that can be modeled during the show.

And this wear, the tradition has expanded to "A Week (almost!) of Wearable" events, including two live shows, an art walk and a fun run. The show is sponsored by Alaska Airlines.

"The wearable artists have been amazing, and it's just so fun to get to do everything crazy, fun and mixed up this year," KAAHC Program Director Katy Posey told the Daily News during a Wednesday morning interview.

The show includes 15 artists, and an additional 16 youth artists from the local Artery art school, situated above the Soho Coho Gallery.

The first-ever Week of Wearable will kick off on Thursday at the Gross Alaska Coliseum Theatre, with two showings of the film version of the "Mixed Up" Wearable Art show.

Work began on the film in January, with the help of Ketchikan Public Utilities and a grant from the Rasmuson Foundation. Much of the filming was done in the Mill at Ward Cove building, where there was plenty of space to social distance.

The first screening next Thursday — which starts at 7:30 p.m. — was sold out by this past Wednesday, Posey said. There were still tickets available for the second viewing at 9:30 p.m.

The first showing takes the shape of a red carpet event.

"We're trying to encourage people to see the artists and models getting out of their cars — you know, just like a Hollywood event — and go up the red carpet," Posey said.

And that's just the first day of events.

On Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., downtown Ketchikan will bustle with music, food and art as local businesses keep their lights on late for the first annual Wearable Art Walk. A map of the route is available from KAAHC at the Main Street Gallery, and from participating businesses.

"Similar to our other art walks, there will be art businesses open during the entire time for shopping, art and great food, music, (and) pop-ups available," Posey said.

All of this year's wearable art pieces will be stationed in storefronts along the Wearable Art Walk route from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday.

"Models will be inside the pieces, modeling them for a whole hour to try and give everybody an opportunity to see them," Posey said.

Events continue into Saturday afternoon, starting with a 5 p.m. community fun run.

"This is wearable art past," Posey explained. "What we've done is we've collaborated with the Ketchikan Running Club and we're having a fun run, and we're encouraging people to wear their own wearable creations, or borrow one from a friend."

"It's going to be fun to watch for spectators, and or to participate in," Posey added. "Lots of fun there."

The fun run course will take runners from Bawden Street Brewery to the Bar Harbor Ale House.

The fun run concludes at 7 p.m. — the same time that the "Mixed Up" Wearable Art Show film will become available for on-demand purchase through the KAAHC website until May 2.

"And this is the same film that is having a screening on Thursday," Posey commented. "So we're letting people see it on the big screen first, and if they miss that, they can purchase the on-demand video of the same film."

And at 8 p.m. April 17, there will be a live performance of the 35th annual Wearable Art Show at the Sunny Point Conference Center.

"We're (KAAHC) really excited about that performance because, you know, four months ago, we wouldn't have been able to do a live performance," Posey said. "So this is fantastic, and we're really excited."

On Sunday, the first annual "Week of Wearable" will wrap up with a live production of the Wearable Art Show on the Allen Marine vessel St. John.

"We've never done that before, and that's super fun," Posey commented.

Planning the events, Posey said, has been quite a whirlwind.

"It has been an amazing, fun rollercoaster, and it's also been a pleasure," she said. "And we are so excited."

More information can be found at www.ketchikanarts.org.