Expect some glitter, a little skin, feathers, makeup and paint, and a few avant-garde masks when Vernon plays host to something a little unexpected before Halloween.
The human form will literally come alive at the Avant-Garde Masquerade Ball being held at what was until recently an undisclosed location, now revealed as Paddlewheel Park Hall Friday.
Brought to the masses by Kip Jon Productions, who earlier this summer staged A Rock ‘n Rococo Affair fashion event in Kelowna, the masquerade ball will feature one of the biggest trends in the underground art world: live body painting.
Some well-known local artists will be using live models to paint as their canvases for what should be an visually stunning affair, said event producer Kip Jon Whelpley.
“This is going to be a very cool first time experience for Vernon and the artists…. They will not be painting on a typical canvas,” said Whelpley.
The artists will be using body paints and natural element pieces to create living statues. Once the models are painted, they will be wheeled out on pedestals, where they will act as living and breathing sculptures.
“We want it to have a Sleepy Hollow feel mixed with the Louvre,” he said. “It will have a dark and creepy feeling.”
Artists lined up include Markella Mildenberger, of the RED Palette, who can usually be seen exhibiting her work at the Vernon Farmers Market in the summer.
“This is the first time I have painted on a live model before,” she said while practising painting feathers on the back of model Kenysha Koroll. “I will have two models at the event, a boy and a girl, and plan to paint one of them as a crow and the other as a scarecrow.”
Also lined up is internationally acclaimed artist Michelle Loughery, known for her historical murals around Vernon as well as in New York City and Perth, Australia.
She will join Cape Breton-born artist Ryan Ryan, who attended the Nova Scotia College of Arts and Design and is known for making public art that combines women’s sexuality with the abject.
Both Loughery and Ryan participated in a live paint-off at the Caetani Cultural Centre art market this summer, so are used to working under the gun.
Metal artist Cheryl Mejer, originally from Smithers, who has lived in Vernon since 2005, plans to concoct a sort of body armour using metallic pieces for her creation, said Whelpley, while Kristy Waife of Vernon’s Black Magic Tattoos, will use a paintbrush instead of a needle for her model in this instance.
Makeup artist Jessie Voss, who worked with models at A Rock ‘n’ Rococo Affair, this time will apply her artistry in a different manner, while Nikki Marshall plans to use her expertise in textile art, using natural wools, felt and fleece, in a whole new manner.
Vernon retro-artist Brett Campbell and Kelowna’s Chelsey Dalzell are also planning to dazzle with their creations, said Whelpley.
“All of them had different concepts, and we narrowed it down to those who had the best chi,”he said. “We are using all local models, some of whom are professional and some who are volunteers. Everyone is volunteering their time and expertise, both models and artists.”
People will have the chance share their appreciation for sculptures by making donations at the models’ feet, with all ticket and donation profits going to Vernon Search and Rescue.
“I chose them because of the work they did in the summer. They get left out a lot as far as fundraisers go, so I wanted to help,” said Whelpley.
Besides the art, guests can also dance to the sounds of Kelowna DJ, Lil’ Miz BumpIt, who placed second in the Open for Avicii contest that was held throughout the Okanagan in 2012.
“She is my favourite DJ. We used her at A Rock n’ Rococo Affair and she was amazing.”
The event is black tie, and all are asked to wear a mask instead of a Halloween costume, added Whelpley.
“We have huge prizes for best mask from Furmaneks’ Jewellers, 104 Grey Clothing and the Fab Four and appies from Monashee’s Bar and Grill, dancing and more.”
The event starts at 8 p.m. at Paddlewheel Hall. Tickets are $50, available at 104 Grey Clothing, Reflections Hair and Esthetics Studio, and Furmaneks Jewellers. This is a 19-plus event.