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HAPPENINGText: Mikey Richardson

The Illustration Collective Repless Abandon teamed up with Fluffgirl Burlesque Society to hold a 2 night event showcasing Burlesque inspired art, Burlesque performance and Jazz music. Burlesque sprung up in the early 1900’s and started as a variety show featuring comedians and strip-tease dancers.

The event was held at the very fitting venue, The Gladstone Hotel. Established in 1889, the hotel was one of Canada’s first Burlesque halls and performance venues. The exhibit showcased over 40 original paintings in a variety of media from oil to digital. The opening night of the event also featured a performance by jazz singer Alex Pangman and Her Alley Cats.

When asked where the group got the idea to create the event, Darren Booth, one of the illustrators and event organizers replied, “We had an urge to host an art exhibition, but through our involvement with the Heaven and Hell book project by Murphy Design, we realized that we should make our exhibition more of an event, just as Mark Murphy did with Heaven and Hell – traveling exhibitions, book launches, parties, awards, sponsorships, etc. With the idea of hosting an exhibition, a few of us RA members went to a Fluffgirl Burlesque show and the immediate vibe from the show gave us each enough inspiration to take advantage of the situation and develop it into ‘The Art of Burlesque”.

The Repless Abandon crew consists of Darren Booth, Jacqui Oakley, Skodt McNalty, Dav Bordeleau, Adam Bowhey, Devon Bowman, Erin and Kelly Carty, Marco Cibola, Kara Fraser, Merrilee Liddiard, Rachel Ann Lindsay, Dushan Milic, Kyle Reed, Vlad Yakobchuk and Brian Young. In addition to the Repless Abandon illustrators, the show also featured work by guests Joe Morse, Gary Taxali, Lorainne Tuson and myself.

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