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Supporting the arts

Bra display brings seasonal whimsy to Art Walk
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal Staff Writer
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You won’t find these bras at Victoria’s Secret. They might not be the most functional undergarments, but the bustiers created by Linda Pietz’s Placer School for Adults knitting pupils are sure to be favorites among tonight’s Auburn Art Walk crowd. Definitely not the type that gets shoved to the back of the sock drawer. As Downtown and Old Town Auburn become one big foot-friendly art gallery between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m., visitors swinging through the Promenade Building on Lincoln Way can check out cleverly knit bras designed to showcase different times of the year. Consider it a sort of bra-of-the-month club. March and St. Patrick’s Day are represented by “Lucky Charms” and “Erin Go Bra.” And August? Two watermelon “slices” make up “Ice Cold Melons.” Get to the end of the year and you’ll find “Double-D Lights,” a holiday-inspired bra that lights up like a Christmas tree with a couple of double-A batteries. “Knitting can be an art form too, and we thought it would be fun to display it at the Art Walk to show that knitting isn’t just what your granny does,” Pietz said. “Fiber arts, including knitting, are art.” The idea for the bras came about after Pietz discovered a bra pattern dating back to the 1930s. “I thought it would be a fun challenge,” she said. “Yes, they started with a pattern but believe me, they did not stick with it. They changed the pattern. They embellished it greatly.” Diana Westin, who has been taking Pietz’s knitting classes the past couple of years, used the month of April and Easter as her inspiration for “Easter Bunnies,” a pink and green bra featuring felted white rabbits. “I actually used a cookie cutter as my template,” she said. Westin said the bra project has snowballed quite a bit since its inception. The pieces have been entered into both the Gold Country and the California State fairs. This group of women hopes to publish note cards and/or a calendar featuring the bras, with proceeds going back into the class as well as to breast cancer research. And there’s talk of auctioning off the bras later this year. “We realized it was way more fun than we thought,” Westin said. “It turned into this huge, fun thing. Getting involved with the community, it’s kind of a first for us … Everybody thinks bras are just hilarious.” Lingerie-turned-art project not your thing? Tonight’s Art Walk — second in a season of four total events spanning from April to October — features more than 30 stops throughout Downtown and Old Town Auburn. Presented by PlacerArts in cooperation with the Auburn Arts Commission and the Downtown Business Association, Auburn Art Walks have been held since 1994 as a way to bring people face-to-face with original works of art created by their friends and neighbors. With longer days and summer vacation stretching out over the next couple of months, Rosie Stilwell, longtime Auburn Art Walk committee member, said the June and August Art Walks tend to draw a bigger crowd. “Summer seems to be the time of year when people want to get out,” she said. Art Walk isn’t just about staring at paintings on the wall. Many artists will be on hand to discuss their creations, and some even plan on letting visitors in on their creative processes. Take, for example, Auburn-area artist Tim Musso, who hunkers down at Latitudes tonight. He’s into wood engraving, wood stamps and serigraphy, and plans to demonstrate what he does best on a block of wood, Stilwell said. “People really like to see an artist in action and see how they create what they do,” Stilwell said. “It just adds another, very interesting dimension to art.” In addition to providing plenty of eye candy, the Auburn Art Walk also sounds good because of live music performed by local groups. BluHorse rock out at the Clock Tower at Lincoln Way and High Street and Dr. Bach and the Jazz Practitioners will have those strolling past the Promenade Porch tapping their toes. The Auburn Arts Commission sponsors the live music through the City of Auburn. “It just adds another exciting element to the Art Walk,” Stilwell said. “Everybody loves live entertainment. I think it’s an exciting addition to the Art Walk.” Find Auburn Art Walk maps and information at PlacerArts.org, or stop by The Arts Building at 808 Lincoln Way. The Journal’s Loryll Nicolaisen can be reached at lorylln@goldcountrymedia.com, or comment online.