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Punk panels to enliven fashion show

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Lorna Sheridan/Index-Tribune Education Editor

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Local artist Rosemary McNeely has painted punk panels to transform the Gundlach-Bundschu barn into an urban space for the Boys & Girls Clubs fashion show PUNK: FROM SOHO TO SONOMA on Sunday, Oct. 6. The theme of her work is the mohawk … a visual symbol associated with the anti-establishment movement.

Commissioned by fashion show chair Dana Freudenberger, McNeely was inspired by classic punk tattoos and stencil profiles of the ’70s and ’80s. She enlarged these gigantic punk silhouettes on a grand scale with oil sticks, stencil and spray paint on raw linen drop cloths.

“The panels are an art installation and doing them brought me back to art school. We would go to artists spaces and have dinners and parties and there would be an art show happening at the same time. Artists showed their work at all events. The club scene in NYC was the same … there would be an art opening in the middle of a nightclub, so the ‘opening’ essentially went on for hours,” said McNeely.

McNeely incorporated Vivian Westwood and Johnny Rotten quotes into the panels to try and legitimize that being “creative” and “avant-garde” is not a negative thing any longer, it is positive and educated, explained McNeely.

McNeely is on the board of the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art and she has been active in its Art Rewards The Student (ARTS) program since 2005, teaching at Dunbar and Prestwood elementary schools, the Presentation School, and more recently, at Woodland Star Charter School. She holds a BFA in sculpture and painting from Massachusetts College of Art and she studied ceramics at Philadelphia College of Art.

Proceeds from the fashion show support the many programs of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley. The event is open to all ages. Tickets are available online at bgcsonoma.org.