New KSU Museum exhibit to show beauty of ability-enabling equipment

Angelo Angel

The Kent State University Museum is preparing to unveil its latest exhibit Friday.

“(dis)ABLED BEAUTY: The Evolution of Beauty, Disability and Ability” will offer examples of when fashionable designs cross with devices that assist people living with disabilities. 

Tameka Ellington, assistant professor at Kent State, and Stacey Lim, professor at Central Michigan University, are the curators of the exhibit.

Ellington said that the idea came from meeting Lim three years ago.

“We became fast friends and we knew we always wanted to do a project together,” Ellington said. “I became a professor over in the Fashion School and she became a professor of audiology at Central Michigan University.”

Ellington said that she and Lim both wanted to tie together fashion and the medical field with a project.

The pair’s first assignment together came at a high school where they spoke with kids with hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Lim and Ellington noted the kids said they’d like to design the aesthetics of their medical aids and it spurred and interest between the two.

“We went to a research conference all about fashion and health and while we were there we met a researcher by the name of Martha Hall who was presenting on fashionable prosthetics,” Ellington said. “That presentation took us even further into this topic of what it means to be disabled and beautiful.”

Ellington and Lim hope that guests will understand better what people with disabilities go through and help undo negative stereotypes that are often assigned to those with disabilities.

“(dis)ABLED BEAUTY” is set to be open until March 2017.

Contact Angelo Angel at [email protected].