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'Printed Impressions' opens at Hillestad Gallery

Items on display in "Printed Impressions" include (from left) a Japanese floral gown; a digital print by Rachel Smith; and a Historic Costume Collection dress with a capelet.
Items on display in "Printed Impressions" include (from left) a Japanese floral gown; a digital print by Rachel Smith; and a Historic Costume Collection dress with a capelet.

Work by students in UNL textile design courses and garments from the Historic Costume Collection of the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design are featured in a new exhibition at the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery.

"Printed Impressions: Source and Speculation" examines the relationship between an historical garment and the objects they inspire. The Friends of the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery will host a public reception for the show from 5 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 1. The exhibition is free and open to the public and runs through March 1 at the gallery on the second floor of the Home Economics Building.

Michael Burton, a UNL lecturer in textiles, merchandising and fashion design, worked with students in advanced design for printed textiles course to explore the use of a proprietary source as an inspiration for design.

"We first examined the difference between copying a design and learning from a design to create something new," Burton said.

The students looked at the intellectual property court case of Fairey vs. AP in which a graphic designer used an Associated Press photograph of then-candidate Barack Obama. They also explored Andy Warhol's use of popular culture imagery and how the contemporary Mui Mui apparel brand has used traditional designs in new ways this season. After students gained experience developing their own designs based on a source, they selected garments from the Historic Costume Collection to use as an inspiration for a finished repeat pattern design.

Similarly, students in Professor Wendy Weiss' surface design on textiles course referred to a selection of printed garments to develop repeat designs on fabric. They began by interpreting personal sketches into repeat patterns, taking inspiration from UNL's Historic Costume Collection. Several students elected to transform their inspired drawings into two- and three-color repeat prints, which are featured in the exhibition.

For more information go to http://textilegallery.unl.edu or call 402-472-2911.

— Wendy Weiss, Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design