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Arts on Sunday series wraps up

by Keith Barber

Marilyn Ingram came rushing through the door of Atelier Studios completely out of breath just minutes after the Art to Wear Fashion Show kicked off on North Trade Street in Winston-Salem on Oct. 26. Ingram pleaded with event organizer Deanna May to take the controls of the boom box blasting retro hits to the Arts District while she made a wardrobe change. The behind-the-scenes frenzy of organizing a fashion show that served as an integration of several artistic disciplines, including dance performance, was not reflected in the finished product. Ingram, a co-organizer of the event, did a masterful job as emcee. Models wearing the fashion creations of local artists appeared right on cue and strutted their stuff on the expansive stage. Harry Knabb, the chairman of Arts for Arts Sake Group — which founded the Arts on Sunday series — snapped digital photos and gushed over the success of the art and craft exhibits, live music, dance, artist’s demonstrations and fashion shows that have dominated the Trade Street landscape since the spring. “We’ll come back in May with a whole new line-up,” Knabb said. And the scene inside Atelier Studios that Sunday afternoon revealed the vital role volunteers such as May and Ingram play in the success of the arts series. May and Ingram recruited their friends and fellow artists to work on the fashion show, but the two of them put in a month of solid work ensuring the show would come off without a hitch. By all accounts, their hard work paid off. Foxy Moxy and Jeff Broughton kicked things off with a playful backand-forth prancing on the stage to the strains of, “I’m too sexy,” by Right Said Fred. The retro music matched the outfits on the stage and the models, one after the other, paraded the wares of local designers for the appreciative audience. Finnigans Wake and 6 th & Vine restaurants provided food for the crowds, who browsed the booths of local artists. After the fashion show concluded, Three Graces Entertainment closed the show with a belly dancing performance. At event’s end, Ingram and May spoke of a friendship that has now developed into a blossoming partnership. “We’re the event twins. It’s what we do,” Ingram said. May and Ingram have been working on art shows for nearly a year, but they have individually been working in the arts for decades. For example, Trade Street Beach, the arts and children’s event held before and during the Summer on Trade Music Series, is the brainchild of May and Ingram. They understand the lifeblood of any arts event is an army of volunteers, and they have a no excuses policy when it comes to volunteering. “You have to die to get out of this organization,” Ingram said, laughing. Like a spider’s web, the work of every artist in the area impacts the lives of every other artist and the Arts on Sunday series capitalizes on the abundance of talent in the Triad. Ingram is part of Woodland Moth Visual and Performing Artists, which rent a space at Atelier. Ingram is also the former manager of Peter Tork of the Monkees. Ingram is joined by performing artist Nancy Smith and Saphira, founder of Three Graces Entertainment. May is the founder of Delyma Arts, a member of the Arts Council, a member of AFAS and a member of Three Monkeys Productions. It is this inter-connectedness between local artists that makes events like Art on Sundays feasible, Ingram said.

And when things go a bit haywire, improvisation is required. “‘My speaker cord is broken,’” Ingram said, relating a humorous incident from earlier in the day. “‘Can you please sing live for the next twenty minutes because the girls don’t have their pants on?’ I just say, ‘No problem.’ They shove me out there.” Fortunately for everyone, Ingram is the founder of the music group, Aura 3, and is an accomplished singer/ songwriter. It’s only fair, since May filled in on the boom box while Ingram made her wardrobe change.

To comment on this story, e-mail Keith T. Barber at keith@yesweekly.com.

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