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Designed to Mobilize: Propaganda Kimono 1920 - 1945, 2019

This exhibition focused on the iconography, motifs, and metaphors displayed in Japanese objects manufactured as propaganda during the Asia-Pacific War (1931 – 1945). Produced within a nation primed to advance its cultural identity on the world stage, textiles provide an important lens for understanding the role of consumerism, coercion, and fashion during a remarkable and controversial period of transition. The exhibition was complemented by a click360 virtual tour which can be viewed here.

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Installation view of Designed to Mobilize, January 2020, Florida Tech, Melbourne, FL. Photo by Dominic Agostini.

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Not Quite Sew: Maggy Rozycki Hiltner, 2018

This presentation featured embroideries hand-stitched from salvaged and recycled materials. Hiltner’s work critiques gender and familial relationships through the artist’s portrayal of idealized and subversive subjects.

Maggy R. Hiltner, Pink Cloud (detail), 2006, hand-stitched cotton and found textiles, 5 x 13 ft. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Flora and Fiber, 2017

This exhibition explored the use and depiction of flowers and foliage in fiber art.  From their ability to visually inspire iconography to their use as raw material for hand-weaving and dyeing, plants have a unique relationship to the creation and adornment of textiles across the globe. Flora and Fiber presented the botanical sources, application and iconography in textiles from three continents, specifically highlighting Asian textiles’ profound and enduring influence on the development of modern fashion and design.

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Installation view of Flora and Fiber, May 2017, Florida Tech, Melbourne, FL. Photo by Dominic Agostini.

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Installation view of Content Creators and Luxuriated Bodies by Carrie Sieh, 2014.  Crocheted VHS tape, acrylic, and copper nails. Photo by Dominic Agostini, courtesy of the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, Florida Tech.

Reimagined: Innovations in Fiber with Alex Trimino and Carrie Sieh, 2016

This exhibition presented the work of Miami-based contemporary artists whose manipulation of fiber is characterized by their use of experimental materials. By challenging traditionally conceived “craft” materials and redefining their context, sourced items such as neon lights and VHS tape are reinvented, showcasing the role of textiles as a visually communicative and diverse art form.

Light and Shadow: Contemporary Fiber Art by Hye Shin, 2015

Born and raised in South Korea, the contemporary fiber artist Hye Shin is known for her large, richly textured wall hangings and, more recently, her sculptural installations. Nature is a primary source of inspiration in Shin’s body of work; rather than conveying a literal representation of it, her abstract weavings and atmospheric installations are focused on expressing a sense of place, mood or feeling. The pieces created for this exhibition were characterized by the dichotomy of the natural world (light vs. shadow, sadness vs. joy, life vs. death and recovery). The artist believes these qualities are inherent to nature and critical to understanding and appreciating its beauty.

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Installation view of Sunken Dreams by Hye Shin, 2014.  Styrofoam, wire, digital printed silk. Photo by Dominic Agostini, courtesy of the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, Florida Tech.

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Students from University Park Elementary School view “Immune” (2009) by Marina Dempster.  Photo by Donna Sewell, courtesy of the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, Florida Tech, 2014.

Embellished: A Celebration of Wearable Art, 2014

In commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, this exhibition presented over forty examples of contemporary wearable art by artists Ann Clarke, Marina Dempster, Kerr Grabowski and center namesake and benefactor Ruth Funk.  Works on display highlighted the diversity of the wearable art movement and emphasized the innovation of diverse surface design techniques.

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