All Black Event to celebrate art and community

It all started with a rumor in February that the PLNU Fashion Show wasn’t happening. At least, that’s what Delaney McCraney thought the day she and her roommate, Erin Leonard, began planning the All Black Event.

ABE (1)
Courtesy of Luke Turner/ABE


“I can clearly remember one night she brought up the idea and wanted to produce something that was put on by students who aren’t in ASB and give the community a different vibe,” Leonard said via email.

Leonard graduated in December of 2014 but will walk in May, completing her managerial and organizational communication degree. She currently works full time managing San Diego and Orange County accounts for SOS Entertainment, which helped her secure some of the vendors and the venue.

After the two started figuring out the logistics, they brought junior Ryan Shoemaker, an art major, on board to help bring PLNU artists into the effort. Then they did what any burrito-loving PLNU student would do: they went to Ortiz’s for their first team meeting.

“We were talking about how to get the most people there and how to make it a really fun event to end the year,” McCraney said. “It’s at least Erin and I’s senior year. We debated a lot of themes and black is easiest and nice. You can just dress up.”

Shoemaker, the curator and art director of the event, said his involvement in the show was all about his passion for making art accessible.

“I love to be able to be a part of the process of displaying art and creativity, especially in ways that make it an exciting and enticing experience,” Shoemaker said via email.

The event will feature 15 artists, about a dozen of them PLNU students. Kristen’s Cart will provide Italian Ice and another cart will bring pretzels with cinnamon sugar and nacho cheese dip. The event starts promptly at 6:30 on April 23 at the San Diego Central Library with a fashion show from McCraney and sophomore Eric Pierce starting at 7:30.

The team didn’t originally plan for PLNU to be involved in the event, that was, until they needed more money. So they asked their friends in the Students for Environmental Action and Awareness Club (who will have a booth at the event) to help them get some needed funds from the Associated Student Body. McCraney went to the Board of Directors and ended up with $3,000 for the event, an amount she is grateful for and was more than she expected. Even with that amount, she said a lot has come out of pocket.

With live music, art around the room, games, photo booths, food and a DJ to provide dancing at the end of the evening, McCraney said the event should be fun, if she can get as many people there as she can.

“It’s just rare at Point Loma to have an event where everyone shows up and in my heart, that’s the true thing,” McCraney said. “It’s just really important to me to have a collective thing where we can all at least hang out one last time. It’s basically a social hour with things to do at it.”

Unlike the last couple of PLNU fashion shows where McCraney made clothes for other people and participated for them, this time this applied health science major decided to do her own thing, forcing her to be creative, especially with the time constraints of senior year. Even so, she’s always done this to some extent.

“I’ve been making my clothes since eighth grade and they were never good but I loved to wear originals,” McCraney said. “I’ve always been interested in it, but I didn’t necessarily think I needed to study it. I have a lot of different interests. So I’m kind of satisfying all of them [and] seeing where it goes.”

Her fashion line will try to embody her college experience.

“It’s all primary colors and it really is enveloping how college has been for me and how it started out plain and simple and I thought I knew what was up in the world,” McCraney said. “I’m leaving here extremely confused and much less naïve I guess, so it’s representative of that.”

Her line will also include video and photography from her sisters, Cassidy and Mallory, who have only heard of her ideas for the line. McCraney has her hands all over this event, but she said that she doesn’t want this event to be her fashion show as some may be thinking, but to be “everyone’s art show.”

Leonard said this event will still be different than the typical PLNU event.

“This is a chance to get off campus, dress up, eat free food and celebrate the talented people that we have all around us,” Leonard said. “We wanted to make this event one that is nothing like anything else PLNU has done…. hopefully we achieve that! I can’t wait to see everyone there and looking snazzy in their all black.”

The venue overlooks San Diego downtown and the event itself will be formal with all black and silver décor.

“We wanted to pick something that was easy for everyone to wear, upscale, and was fun for pictures — all black clothing comes from the idea of being modern and since this is a collaboration of art we thought it would go well,” Leonard said.

Ultimately McCraney said students should prepare for the best.

“[I want to tell students] to be open minded to having a really good time and to embrace this as one of the last events of the year and to enjoy each other’s presence,” she said. “That’s the whole point of this.”

Shoemaker puts it more bluntly.

“It’s about fun,” Shoemaker said. “There’s a couple sucky weeks left and we’re just looking to create a killer way to blow off steam, and selfishly, I hope it’s a little more edifying than Netflix.”

More information about the event can be found on the All Black Event Facebook page.

UPDATE: Photos from the event