“Beyond Fiber and Fashion Art”

Erin Perkins

The line between art and fashion is a distinct one that Kent State Professor Vincent Quevedo has every intention of blurring in “Beyond Fashion: Fiber and Fashion Art by Vincent Quevedo” opening at the Kent State University Museum today. The exhibit, which runs through Feb. 12, 2012, includes about 30 pieces, some award winning and each with their own concept whether they’re meant to be hung on a wall or draped over a body.

“Art and fashion are caught between two worlds,” said Quevedo, an award-winning artist who paints, sculpts and has designed for more than 20 years. “You have to be able to function between the two.”

Quevedo’s modern designs are influenced by traditional quilting techniques as well as digitally printed fabrics. The exhibit features pieces from Quevedo’s past collection starting from 1996. While some pieces have fashionable shapes that are wearable, others explore the theatrics of textile and transcends into art.

Jean Druesedow, the director of the museum, said it’s important for the museum to show examples of art like those of Quevedo that use fashion shapes as a medium along with other fiber art.

“Visitors will enjoy the colors found in the pieces and also will appreciate the quilting techniques. One of the important things about the pieces is that Vince manipulates fabrics in ways not usual in the industry in order to achieve his vision – for example, he literally melts synthetic fabrics to change the texture.”

The exhibit begins with three pieces Quevedo collaboratively created with J.R. Campbell, the director of the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising for the 2010 Fashion Art Biennale in Seoul, South Korea. While there, the pair was jointly awarded the “International Artist of the Year” for their piece “DMZ,” which stands for demilitarized zone.

The three pieces are an instantaneous attraction that lures you to the gallery, Quevedo said.

The remaining pieces are featured in the Higbee Gallery. Influenced from his background as a former gymnast, the relationship between body, material and space is an important ingredient in Quevedo’s designs.

“You can tell my designs are influenced by gymnastics,” said Quevedo, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in Clothing and Textiles, Master of Science degree in Workforce Education and Development and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Textiles. “The pieces are body conscious and influenced by body movement.”

From his pieces, Quevedo said students should learn that creativity doesn’t have to be stifled by limited resources. Many of his pieces were created inexpensively by using tissue paper as fabric or using $1 per yard fabric from discount stores.

“Most design students are not fortunate enough to have the best fabrics,” he said. “But everyone is creative and you can create good designs with the things around you.”

The ability to make something exquisite without high quality materials is something Quevedo wants his exhibit to exemplify.

“I want people to see these, and say wow, that’s a beautiful design,” he said. “It doesn’t look like it, but it is very labor intensive.”

The main purpose of the exhibit, he said, is to educate and inspire students.

“I am not only a designer but a professor and I want to educate. I want them to learn something, whether it’s from aesthetic or design in my exhibit.”

The distinction between fashion and art is that fashion is meant for the moment while art is suppose to be timeless. But that distinction is meant to be challenged and blurred, because art and fashion are both about expression, and Quevedo is certain that the two can blend well together.

“This exhibition really does portray who I am as a teacher and designer. I want the collection to be cutting edge, but still wearable and artful.”

For more information about Quevedo visit Vinci Designs or the exhibit visit http://www.kent.edu/museum.

Contact Erin C. Perkins at [email protected].