Hillestad offers 'Indian Textiles and Costumes'

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"Indian Textiles and Costumes: Perspectives and Potential" is on exhibition at the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery through Feb. 11. Traditional Indian handcrafted textiles and their use in Indian costumes and everyday life provided the foundation for exploration and design development for the work presented in the exhibition.

Anjali Karolia, visiting Fulbright Nehru lecturer from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, and Wendy Weiss, professor of textiles, clothing and design at UNL, led eight graduate students on a personal journey. The outcome was a deeper understanding of the people of India, and the significance that textiles have in defining regional diversity through skilled craft. Elaborately detailed textiles, infused with meaning and historical reference, provided the basis for the development of contemporary student design.

Graduate students working on a master of arts in Textiles, Clothing and Design created new works specifically for this show. The work includes interpretations of Indian dress, from the draped sari and dhoti, the stitched chudidar, ghagara and choli, to accessories and western dress. The Indian painted textiles, Kalamkaris, have been translated to screenprinted wall panels; embroidered motifs are rendered as fabric prints; and the traditional tree of life motif is embroidered on denim. The display includes three weft ikat saris Weiss collected in India in 2009 on a Fulbright Nehru Research award and an embroidered textile from the department's historic collection.

The designers included in the show include three December 2010 graduates: Tacia Booton of Lincoln, Melissa Caldwell of Vernal, Utah, and Erica White of Midland, Mich. Thais De Oliveira of Brazil and Sandra Starkey of Lincoln will present their thesis work in the gallery this spring and three others, Kristen Weber, Michaela Knoll and Yang Yu have just completed their first semester in the graduate program. Department alumnae Kathryn Alms, Cassandra Clayton, and Katey Kaiser designed weft ikat scarves that were handwoven in Gujarat, India. These are on view and available to purchase. Proceeds from sales will support future international design collaborations.

The Hillestad Gallery is part of the Department of Textiles, Clothing and Design in the College of Education and Human Sciences. The gallery is on the second floor of the Home Economics Building. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and by appointment. Admission is free.

- Wendy Weiss, Textiles, Clothing and Design

More details at: http://textilegallery.unl.edu