Kudos to the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council for its extraordinary innovation in reimagining the Wearable Art Show for 2021.

The conundrum facing KAAHC was this: The iconic event couldn’t occur in the traditional fashion because of the ongoing pandemic. The options? Give up on Wearable Art in 2021 or find a way forward.

There was no giving up. KAAHC — along with the artists, models and much community support — found a way forward.

And what a way it was.

The 35th annual Wearable Art Show made good use of its “Mixed Up” theme. A video version of the “Mixed Up” Wearable Art Show was filmed in The Mill at Ward Cove space earlier this year. The production debuted this past Thursday at a “red carpet” event at the Gross Alaska Coliseum Theater, and now is available on-demand online.

There was a fantastic Wearable Art Walk on Friday evening downtown, followed by a fun run early Saturday evening, a live performance Saturday evening at the Sunny Point Conference Center and a concluding live performance aboard an Allen Marine tour vessel on Sunday evening.

This “Week of Wearable” brought the fun and excitement of this terrific Ketchikan event to the community in ways that it hasn’t been experienced before. KAAHC didn’t just say: We’re not giving up.  It said, in effect: We’re going to go big, try new things and expand what the Wearable Art Show can be. The result was a remarkable display of creativity (not to mention determination and hard work) from an organization committed to enhancing the creative side of Ketchikan life.

We certainly love the traditional Wearable Art Show and venue, and look forward to its return. We don’t know what the future holds, but with the past week as evidence, Ketchikan now knows that the KAAHC Wearable Art Show can continue, given a can-do spirit, dedication and community support.