Scholarly design: Pair of exhibits highlight student work

CSU master’s student Sara Dudek with one of her creations in the Gustafson Gallery.

Colorado State University is training the next generation of clothing and textile designers in the Department of Design and Merchandising, and two exhibits offer a glimpse of some of the creative work being done by students in the department. One exhibit is in the Gustafson Gallery, and one in the Avenir Gallery, both under the umbrella of the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising.

DigitalBatikGustafsonDigital Batik Meets Manual Crochet
Sept. 15 – Nov. 6
Gustafson Gallery, Gifford Building

West African textiles and historic crochet techniques inspire the new exhibit featured in the Gustafson Gallery, which is part of the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising at CSU.

The designs featured in the upcoming Gustafson Gallery exhibit, Digital Batik Meets Manual Crochet: A novel approach to graduate-level design scholarship, were created by Sara Dudek, a master’s student in the Department of Design and Merchandising. Inspiration for the work comes from the designer’s travels in Ghana, West Africa, and her family tradition of crochet.

The pieces were created by combining digitally printed textiles inspired by the wax prints and symbols of West Africa with the historic filet crochet lace-making technique. Textiles were printed on cotton and silk with a digital textile printer, and the crochet elements were made by hand using a fine cotton crochet thread as well as silk and bamboo yarn.

The exhibit documents the designer’s process, beginning with the initial inspiration from her travels in Ghana. The work is informed by the rich history of Dutch Wax Prints and Adinkra symbols, as well as batik traditions. In the midst of the design process, the student also explored research into the cultural appropriation of these textile traditions and ways for designers to work with West African textiles using a socially responsible approach. This research changed the direction of the design work, and the process is documented within the exhibit.

Exhibit opens with reception

The exhibit opens Thursday, Sept. 17, with a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. The Gustafson Gallery is located in room 318 of the Gifford Building at 502 W. Lake Street. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. Admission is free. The exhibit runs through Nov. 6.

Pop artFGI Pop Art Fashion Show
Aug. 28-Dec. 31
Avenir Gallery, University Center for the Arts

What are you wearing? And what was it before you could wear it? The Pop Art Fashion Show, which has been featured in the Gustafson Gallery this past spring, has moved to the Avenir Gallery at CSU’s University Center for the Arts at 1400 Remington St. The Avenir Gallery is located in Room 115 of the UCA. The exhibit includes a collection of garments produced by students from the CSU chapter of Fashion Group International in the Department of Design and Merchandising. Gallery hours are Monday-Wednesday and Friday 11 a.m.–6 p.m., and Thursday 11 a.m.–8 p.m.

The FGI student chapter holds an annual recycled fashion show every fall, featuring many of the recycled garments created by students in Dr. Diane Sparks’ AM 130 Design Foundations class. This imaginative exhibition illustrates student learning and incorporation of a variety of recycled materials to demonstrate understanding of the principles and elements of design. The individual garments highlight the construction skills, whimsy and innovation of the apparel and merchandising students.

Avenir Museum Expansion Opening

The new Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising opens on Jan. 30, 2016. The expanded location at 216 E. Lake St. will feature three inaugural exhibitions. In the meantime, enjoy the exhibit in the Avenir Gallery, and plan to join the Fall 2015 Thursday Lecture Series, offering select opportunities to get an advance preview of the new Avenir Museum classroom, gallery and storage spaces.

The Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising is part of the Department of Design and Merchandising in the College of Health and Human Sciences.