Leave it to the weirdos at Donkey Gallery to create a guerrilla fashion show challenge. Adorned by local designers, sonicly catered by gaunt DJs RAP and emceed to beget happening rather than opening, June 8's "The F Word: Donkey Does Fashion" signified a beckoning achievement in the avoidance of taking things too seriously. It also marked a trinity of swell Barelas gallery events.
Along with Donkey, Bivouac and newcomer The Petting Zoo (all of which sit neatly in a row on Fourth Street near Bridge) opened their doors that Friday evening for pleasantly lackadaisical functions. Bivouac's space was filled with a sole installation; hanging strips of clear and black plastic sheeting forming a large, suspended square. Next door the Petting Zoo held its grand opening with a silent auction containing art in varying media. Sadly, there were no fluffy sheep to pat, but a cozy atmosphere, snacks and beverages were fit compensation.
Outside, as the essence of barbecued hot dogs filled the air, the fashion challenge commenced. Models wearing designs by Merchant Adams, Sarah Fischer, Erin Forrest, Stacia Smith, Carrie Thompson, Nicole Dante and Ricola Will ambled out into the parking lot to meet their challenges. The first model was instructed to chug a beer, the second had to make a hybrid car look sexy, another picked up M&M’s with chopsticks and so on with similar hijinks into the evening.
Whether it's the constipated landscape paintings repeatedly encountered in New Mexico or the typically stiff gallery setting many are used to, it's nice to report a population of artists and art space owners taking a different approach to creation. Three cheers, amigos.