Somerville Open Studios 2018 Presents:
Beyond the Pattern - A Fashion Show

Thursday, May 3, 2018, 7 - 9 pm
Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Ave.
[ Directions | Map ]
Admission is free. Doors open at 6 pm.

Beyond the Pattern, a show of wearable art and fashion, returns for its sixth year. The "unofficial" kick off for SOS, this year's event features a collection of uniquely crafted wearable accessories, upcycled materials transformed into haute couture, the dramatic role of masks, themed costumes, kids cool clothes and a wide range of women's fashion. Made by local artists and designers, this and more will be presented on the runway with models in our own unique style. Fun, whimsical, inventive, dramatic and entertaining this show is not to be missed!

Seating is general admission; please arrive early for best seating choice. The Armory bar will be open, featuring local craft brews, wine, and soft drinks for your sipping pleasure. Parking is available in the lot behind the Armory, as well as on the street. If you are a Somerville resident, please give non-residents first option to use the parking lot.

Please also visit Beyond the Pattern's Facebook event page.

This year's Beyond the Pattern show is produced by SOS artists Consuelo Perez and JoAnne Coppolo.
If you'd like to volunteer for the event or come to our next planning meeting, visit this page.

The Designers

Lenni Armstrong, an avid bicycler, uses her design talents to encourage people to lower their carbon footprint by bicycling rather than driving. Safety is key to people feeling comfortable using bicycles for transportation, especially when it's dark.

Lenni's new line of stylish outer wear, Hi-Vis SafeWear, helps bicyclers and walkers be seen and be safe. Incorporating fluorescent materials, this clothing and gear increase visibility during the day. Her designs for safewear use fluorescent materials for daytime visibility and retro-reflective materials that become luminous in car headlights at night.

Lenni is passionate about supporting sustainable lifestyles. As an educator, she designed animated interactives about climate change for high school students. As an activist, she co-organizes Depaving Parties for Somerville residents who want to transform their paved driveways and backyards into raised bed gardens and other green spaces, improving the Somerville ecosystem.

Lenni's guiding principle is "form and function." She designs Hi-Vis SafeWear that increases visibility in the street and looks fabulous!

Shawn Baker is a multi-media artist, designer and art educator from Boston, MA. He is dedicated to promoting personal agency through art education, which fosters creative and critical thinking skills. His current indoor-outdoor studio practice involves wood block printing, drawing, textile/garment design, and sculptural installation.

Shawn created his trademark UTILI-T shirt — a super stylin' sleeveless hoodie T with plenty of form and function — in 2010. Its three pocket, two-tone hood and no sleeve construction makes this garment the ultimate studio T. Based on a simple template construction, each T has a unique color composition making them all one of a kind.

Many UTILI-Ts have been sold since Shawn started production, and he is excited to see his work serving a purpose out in the world and doing it in style. Designing and producing UTILI-Ts is an important part of Shawn's artistic practice, and he looks forward to putting more out there.

Irne Award-winning mask/puppet maker and Fulbright Scholar Eric Bornstein of Behind The Mask Studio/Theatre specializes in custom-made masks, corporate event planning, arts education, and mask theater programming. Credits include masks for: Fava Opera's Les Sortilege D'Enfants (Paris), Boston Ballet's Nutcracker, Boston Lyric Opera's Madama Butterfly, The Walnut Hill School's Nutcracker, Bethesda Softworks video games, A Glimpse Beyond at Mt. Auburn Cemetery (Artistic Director/Mask Design), the Cambridge River Festival, Underground Railway Theater's Life of Galileo, and First Night Boston. Over the last 30 years, Eric's masked characters have been the subject of numerous media features. Local and national media have described Eric as "Boston's preeminent mask maker"…"a man of many talents" and his masks as "phantasmagoric," "magnificent," "Stunning, finely crafted…first-rate," "eerie/enchanting," "masterful," "outstanding," and "gorgeous."

For more information please visit .

Anna Comella: I started my art career as a printmaker moving into silkscreens and eventually into collage works made up of torn pieces from the prints and silkscreens. I loved the collages because they looked like textiles, not knowing that this would bring me to fashion design. Many years later, after working for a major retailor, I wanted to do a tribute to my boss and co-workers and thought that the way to do it was by sewing the clothing myself. The "Macy's" clothing collection was created using Macy's plastic garment bags and discount cards, leading to my fixation with fashion. I create fashions from both conventional and non-conventional materials, with the intention that all of my fashion is wearable art.

JoAnne Coppolo: Making unique pieces of clothing is the outward expression of my inner workings. Not being confined to a specific size and style has given me the opportunity to explore outside the boundaries of current fashion trends. I like to play with images from other cultures, combine them with an unlikely textile and construct something no one has seen or worn before. The possibilities are infinite – this is the catalyst that nourishes my creativity. Seeing something I have made being worn and loved by the wearer is truly rewarding.

I work in an attic studio in my home and find great solace and inspiration in this space, surrounded by piles of textiles, bits and pieces of clothing, scraps of fabric that stir the memory of things I've made now long gone….the palpable history of my imagination.

Dawna Davis creates wearable art and other creations that reflect her love of light, color, texture and whimsy. A longtime educator and trainer, she teaches both private and group wire classes in her studio. Visit her website at .

"I incorporate various types of wire with semiprecious stones, pearls, and crystal to make colorful, fanciful wearable art . Through the use of wire coils, spirals and other shapes, my pieces call forth a spirit of whimsy and playfulness. Light also plays a key role. It dances off the Swarovski crystal to create rainbows of sparkle and color. Whether it's freeform, wrap or knit stitches, they create a balance of simple and detailed, smooth and textured, delicate and strong."


Jen Flores: I have been painting and sewing all my life! I love the feel for shaping fabric and making it an extension of my art form. Exploring design and textures through fibers is in essence sculpture. You think about weight, pattern and texture then internal form - starting with something flat into a fitted form is the exciting finish...then you come up with another design to challenge yourself once again!

A.C. Kemp worked as a costumer for several theater groups in the past, but these days she mostly makes costumes to wear for her annual gig as an emcee at Somerville's ArtBeat Festival. When not sewing, she teaches English Language Studies at MIT.

Ellie Laramee-Byers: My main practice in art has always been geared towards visual arts. I keep a regular practice as an illustrator and painter. I have been sewing clothing for myself and quilting as a hobby since I was a teenager. Once I had children, I was inspired to create fun and whimsical outfits for them and when the weather is cooler, I also enjoy crocheting fun hats for them. For Beyond the Pattern, I am teaming up with my studiomate Gessica Silverman, who just recently started designing fabric and illustrative patterns. Together we have made a collection of clothing for kids.

Benjamin Lewis is a artist, photographer, and crafter that likes to capture and create from the wonderful things around us. In the past he's created art out of found items like hub caps and drift wood.

Recently he was inspired by the beauty of beer tap handles to take them from functional bar wear and transform them into artistic fashion accessories. Working out of his home shop and Artisan's Asylum he takes old tap handles and his own custom crafted tap handles an converts them into umbrellas. He hopes these stylish accessories will give people a new appreciation for the art around them and will give you a chance to share your own stories over your favorite pint. His art and these umbrellas will be on display at his home studio over open studios weekend.

Consuelo Perez: I believe that visual impact makes a stronger statement because we often judge things by how we see them, and we do not give them a chance.

My art can be expressed and interpreted in different ways. When I look at the trash I think to myself of the many ways that this trash can be turn into extraordinary forms of art, and what kind of food people eat.

Through this form of art I have become aware of the meaning behind the trash in different communities. While I collect trash to make art, others collect them to survive just like the biological symbiotic relationship. For example, the birds feed off of the crocodile while the crocodile is being cleaned up. They both benefit.

I do this type of art because I have control. There are issues such as abortion, where people question whether or not it is correct to give life to someone or something. I do not have to contemplate political issues because the creation of the piece is up to me, because art crosses all boundaries.

Eleanor Ramsay is a custom fabric designer and illustrator. Her recent visual art combines illustration, photography, digital design, beadwork, sewing, watercolor, and gardening into a meditation on the cyclic advance of time, and our fragile place in the current stream of life.

Gessica Silverman is a mixed media artist. She makes smaller-scale art works out of pen, ink, and watercolor that are expressions and interpretations of the natural world. Gessica's goal is to spread love through her art.

Gessica's newest body of work wants to live beyond the page. Bright, colorful, human, and happy, these artworks are primed for pattern and fabric.

This is Gessica's debut into the fabric and fashion world. Gessica will be collaborating with Ellien Laramee-Byers on GELLIE - a collection of children's clothing. This collection brings Gessica's happy, approachable artwork to life in new ways, using Ellie's sewing and clothing design magic.

A New York City transplant, Sara Tchen-Susman now lives and works in the greater Boston area. She works predominantly in metalsmithing, but has a history with drawing and painting as well.

"For the past few years I have been working almost exclusively with metals, creating jewelry and wearable art. I like to think that my work develops a life of its own, growing and evolving in unexpected ways. My large-scale pieces are experimental combinations of metal and leather; somewhere between clothing and jewelry, this combination gives plenty of room for experimentation with technique, and exploration of the relationship between art and the human body."