‘BRIGHTNESS!’ event combines photography, fashion

FORTY FORT – There is rarely a dull moment at 900 Rutter Ave. Complex at Forty Fort. And there is rarely an event that takes place without many companies occupying the space working together in collaboration and cohesion.

The “FLASH! Tuesday night’s photo exhibit and fashion show were no different.

The event, fully advertised as “FLASH! A Flashback to 2021 ”began at 6 pm with a performance of scenes from the holiday classic“ The Nutcracker ”by members of the Wilkes-Barre Dance Theater.

Anna Malsky, who is the Artist in Residence at ANNAMALY, which hosted the event, is the daughter of Gina Malsky, who runs the Dance Theater. Anna says some of the kids in the theater were unable to attend a recent performance at the Kirby Center due to COVID-19, “so it’s a make-up for them to perform.”

Then the fashion show started. Showcasing wardrobe pieces and accessories from The Mercerie and Designs by Irina, the models had the chance to strut the makeshift runway leading down the haberdashery hallway to the gallery space that is the ANNAMALY art collective.

In the gallery, there were around 50 photographs on display, all taken by eight local professionals. Young Malsky says her regular full-time job has helped her make those connections, especially with star photographer Amanda Hrycyna. “My full time job is done at the Verve Vertu Art Studio in Dallas, so from there I have a lot of connections with art creators of all kinds. (Hrycyna) is the one who put me in touch with most photographers, which is amazing, ”she says. And from there, they figured out why not expand the event?

While participation was free, people who came to support could donate, “at your own risk,” as the Donation Skull warned. Free wine and water, treats from Alle’s Chocolate Shop, a performance by County Lines and hair massages on the models, offering the advertised “something for the five senses” were also featured.

At an evening featuring stars of dance, fashion, design and the arts of all kinds, the evening’s spotlight was on local photographers. In a field that does not lack talent, the images on display were something to see. With stunning images from the following local professionals: Jim Gavenus; Aimée Dilger; Jason Reidmiller; Kristen Mullen; Curtis Salonika; Angel Burlane; Sean McKeag; and the aforementioned Hrycyna, it is easy to see the capacity of NEPA visionaries.

In what has been a big year for ANNAMALY, since it opened with an Earth Day event, hosting an “eight week children’s intensive” and “scary show” for October, Malsky says he there will be more to come in 2022.

“I love people and bringing people together,” she says, “and I’m happy to do it here. She later said she was “definitely planning events for next year.”

Beyond the immense capacity displayed, it was also quite easy to see an artistic community – and a business community – supporting each other. Malsky summed it up this way: “Thank you to all the artists and everyone who is keen to absorb art as well as do it.”

If you want to make an appointment at the studio, you can follow ANNAMALY Instagram page and send him a message there.

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