Southern Vermont Arts Center unveils sustainable fashion exhibition and fundraiser

"Unusual Threads: Stitching Together the Future of Fashion," an exhibition that opens at the Southern Vermont Arts Center on May 11, explores the future of fashion in relation to the growing use of sustainable materials.

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MANCHESTER —The Southern Vermont Arts Center is starting the season with a special fashion exhibition and fundraiser to be held in May.

"Unusual Threads: Stitching Together the Future of Fashion," which runs May 11 to June 23, explores the future of fashion and wearable art vis-a-vis the growing use of sustainable materials, an approach designers are utilizing to solve the issue of clothing waste.

"Using unique processes of recycling and through the use of organic materials, designers and artists are coming up with ways to provide beautiful, exclusive, haute-couture clothing," Anna-Maria Hand, SVAC gallery director and curator of the exhibition, said.

The exhibition will be preceded by a fashion-themed fundraiser, "Rags to Runway," at the Wilson Museum on May 10.

"Unusual Threads" features the work of at least a dozen artists and designers, including Natalia Martinez Sagan. Based in New York City, Sagan is an Argentinean interdisciplinary artist and educator who specializes in sustainability.

An environmental activist for more than 20 years, she is dedicated to raising awareness about climate issues and sustainable living throughout creative modes. She is also a team member of Fashion Revolution USA, a group that educates people in the country about the social and environmental impacts of their clothing purchases, so they demand a more sustainable fashion industry and circular economy.

Another participating artist is Anna VA Polesny, who has exhibited work at the Bellevue Art Museum in Washington State and the Museum of Art and Design in New York City. Her work will soon be included in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Works by the exhibition designers will be showcased at the fundraiser "Rags to Runway." The event will also include a panel discussion on sustainability and contemporary fashion, as well as a photo booth and raffle prizes. Food from SVAC's new exclusive caterer, Church Street, will be served along with custom cocktails.

Tickets to the fundraising gala cost $150 each, and raffle tickets are $20 apiece or $50 for three. Raffle prizes include a custom piece of jewelry by Judi McCormick, a KitchenAid mixer and cake decorating demonstration from Blackbird Cake Design, as well as a hands-on farm-to-table food experience in Dorset.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will support the center's art exhibitions, performances and classes for adults and children.

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If You Go

What: "Rags to Runway" Fundraiser

When: Friday, May 10, 6-9 p.m.

Where: Wilson Museum, Southern Vermont Arts Center, 930 SVAC Drive, West Road, Manchester

Tickets: $150, available at or by calling (802) 362-1405

What: "Unusual Threads: Stitching Together the Future of Fashion" Exhibition

When: May 11-June 23 (during regular visitor hours)

Where: Wilson Museum, Southern Vermont Arts Center, 930 SVAC Drive, West Road, Manchester

Tickets: Free admission


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