“We’re having a really New York-style runway event at night, to make it more cutting-edge,” said Lisa Vakharia, executive director of ARTsmart, the sponsoring organization.
“Maybe it will bring a different crowd of people,” she said, noting that the weekend event’s fashion show previously had been held in conjunction with a ladies’ luncheon on Saturday. “People are always saying there’s not enough to do at night.”
Coming to town to hone that edge will be Mondo Guerra, a Mexican-American designer based in Denver who was a runner-up on Season 8 of “Project Runway,” winner of the debut season of “Project Runway All Stars,” and now a mentor on Tim Gunn’s new show on Lifetime, “Under the Gunn.”
DJ Rose from the Beauty Bar in Denver, where Guerra hosts “Under the Gunn Thursdays,” will spin music for dancing until midnight.
Guerra, whose designs feature bold graphics and colorful prints, is HIV-positive and has done a lot of work to raise awareness about the virus and encourage infected people to discuss treatment goals with their doctors.
Taos Pueblo native Patricia Michaels, who competed in the 11th season of “Project Runway,” also will contribute some of her fashions to the show, Vakharia said.
The two designers also have offerings in ARTfeast’s auction: Michaels is donating a spot for a person to attend one of her workshops in Taos, while Guerra is offering to take the six highest bidders to lunch.
The Fashion Feast, which also will include shoes from Goler Fine Imported Shoes, runs 8 p.m.-midnight today at the Scottish Rite Center, 463 Paseo de Peralta, which includes plenty of parking spaces, Vakharia pointed out.
There will be shuttle buses to take people to and from that lot to the galleries participating in the Edible Art Tour from 5-8 p.m. The Fashion Feast is $40 and the Edible Art Tour is $35; a combination ticket for both costs $70.
The entire weekend, which also offers a brunch, home tour and gourmet dinner and auction, is a fundraiser for ARTsmart, which provides support for visual arts education in the public schools in Santa Fe and northern New Mexico, as well as scholarships for students pursuing a career in art.
Students have painted plates with a variety of scenes and designs, which will be raffled off; tickets cost $20 apiece, or three for $50.
The goal for ARTfeast, which is in its 17th year, is to raise $200,000, according to Vakharia. Some 8,000 students participate in the program’s projects each year, and $1.2 million has been contributed to mentors, materials and scholarships since 1996.
The honorary artist for this year’s event is Santa Fe’s Phyllis Kapp, whose vibrant watercolors reflect New Mexico’s skies and landscapes. Born and raised in Chicago, she moved to Santa Fe in 1984 with a studio on Canyon Road, which became Waxlander Gallery.
In an artist’s statement on the gallery website, Kapp says: “My art is about the land and sky, but it is also about a state of mind, a feeling of joy, of being one with the universe.”
She has worked with students in the public schools to help them develop the skills to express their own feelings and inspirations through their paintings.