Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Get ready for FLAM WAPP

By S. Derrickson Moore
Sun-News reporter
LAS CRUCES — Get out your most artistic outfits and accessories and prepare to strut your stuff.
I’m hereby proclaiming the first For the Love of Art Month Wearable Art Promenade and Parade (FLAM WAPP) on Saturday, Feb. 13, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Downtown Mall and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on and around the Mesilla Plaza.
I’m not applying for an official parade permit and I hope nobody else will either. We aren’t talking floats and elephants here (unless you feel like dressing up like a parade float or an elephant). The times listed above are already community gatherings for the Las Cruces Farmers & Crafts Market and Mesilla’s annual For the Love of Art Celebration, so people will be ambling around anyway.
I’m just asking you to step it up a notch, don those artsy duds and promenade — or hop, waltz, salsa, tango, two-step or breakdance, if the spirit moves you.
I want to stress that this is an all-arts event, so you’re also welcome to sing, play a musical instrument, or recite a poem or a soliloquy from your favorite play or movie as you promenade.
But visual art is key for the FLAM WAPP, so it’s important that you bring your most artistic game face (henna, temporary tattoos and any other kind of face painting will be welcomed) and your most wonderful wearable art for the unauthorized parade.
And don’t let anyone stop you.
In case some of you are intimidated by the concept, let’s talk a little about wearable art.
It could be anything that makes you feel artistic: a beret, a cowboy hat with a hand-beaded hat band, a silver concho belt, a hand-woven shawl, a painted shirt or jeans, an old broach, necklace or ring that belonged to an arty ancestor, socks knitted by your aunt, that braided friendship bracelet your kids made at camp...
You get the idea. Now, come up with your own ideas. You’ll get extra points for unusual combinations, double scores for original one-of-a kind wearable art clothing and accessories made in our territory, and gold medal status for wearing anything you’ve created yourself.
Not that anybody will be keeping score. Art is its own reward and the FLAM WAPP is pure arts for art’s sake.
Though art can sometimes be a solitary and lonely pursuit, for FLAM WAPP, it’s the more, the merrier.
Dress up the kids, dress up the dog.
Promenade. Promenade.
If you live in this territory, it’s your patriotic duty to be artistic this month. If someone in your circle of friends is shy or a stick-in-the mud, stick a feather in his cap and call it macaroni. (Or stick a macaroni bracelet on her wrist and call it performance art.)
Art, like love, has no limits.
If you still feel you need authorization, you can blame it on a FLAM founding muse: me. I’ll never forget that memorable day out on a colorful back yard patio when I gathered with Kelley Hestir, Miriam Lozada-Jarvis and other creative souls who would later start ArtForms, sponsor of the first For the Love of Art Month in 1998.
Since then, FLAM has burgeoned and flourished, encompassing more events, artists, art fans and diverse forms of visual and performing arts, including more theatrical, musical and literary events.
But I’m a bit concerned about complacency. Eternal vigilance and innovation is the price of liberating our artistic natures.
In its early years, FLAM included spontaneous art happenings and wonderfully artistic and nutty events like an Art Car Parade and a multimedia banquet with place settings created by top local artists, plus exotic, artistic food, and ballerinas, flamenco dancers and kicklines cavorting on and around the tables.
Let’s get back to those pioneering days. If there isn’t already an art exhibit or happening planned at your favorite office, community center, restaurant, or place of business, get everyone together and put on a show this month. Commit random acts of art wherever you are. Do strange things in the name of art.
Are you ready to carry the torch and keep the spirit of FLAM alive?
Start by buying, finding, combining or making something new and artistic. Wear it proudly for FLAM WAPP on Feb. 13 ... and/or, anytime, before, during or after our official month-long fiesta.
It all starts tomorrow.
Do it For the Love of Art.
S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at dmoore@lcsun-news.com; (575) 541-5450. To share comments, go to www.lcsun-news.com and click on Blogzone and Las Cruces Style.

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