The 20th Biennial Celebrates 30 years of ArtWear

By The Lincoln Center

The 20th Biennial Celebrates 30 years of ArtWear

Gary and Carol Ann Hixon are undeniably the creative force behind ArtWear Fashion Week, which has evolved into the ArtWear Biennial. The Hixons visit to the San Francisco Design Center in 1985 led to a chance encounter with an artwear show and auction. Soon, the Hixons started to visit other artwear shows across the country. After learning what went into creating a successful event, they decided it would be fun to bring a show to Fort Collins. Teaming up with The Lincoln Center in 1992, ArtWear was born.

Fort Collins artist Bob Coonts has also been involved with ArtWear since its beginning in 1992. Many in the Fort Collins community are familiar with Bob Coonts’ colorful and often whimsical paintings. However, it was in 1994, after 31 years in graphic design and illustration, he launched his fine art career creating paintings, sculptures and mixed-media works. The poster for the first ArtWear event combined artwork of four artists: Bob Coonts, John Gravdahl, Paul Jensen and Melanie Metz. Since then, Bob Coonts has designed every poster for the event. He was joined by fellow designer John Schiller in 1996 and the pair have continued to work together to create the event posters since then.

The ArtWear Biennial returns to The Lincoln Center Friday, October 7, with a fully staged fashion show and continues the following week with a sales gallery featuring all the artists’ work. ArtWear highlights artists who create one-of-a-kind wearable art. The ArtWear event presents innovative work of the highest quality, materials and techniques—that you can add to your wardrobe—and is a fundraiser for The Lincoln Center’s Visual Arts Program. A preview exhibit starts September 17 in The Lincoln Center Art Gallery and features What a Fungi by Kristi Siedow-Thompson, worn by drag queen Yvie Oddly for RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 7.

Tickets to the ArtWear Fashion Show on October 7, including exclusive VIP opportunities for post-show and pre-show shopping, are available at

Gary and Carol Ann Hixon enjoy the 2008 ArtWear Sales Gallery.

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