Tabula Rasa

There’s a point in the striking/installation of exhibitions in which the old is out, and the new is yet to be placed. We’ve reached that spot in between our 25th Anniversary exhibition and the new one, “Beyond Fashion: Vincent Quevedo-Fiber and Fashion Art” in which the space is freshly painted and all you can see is the architecture of the place.

Higbee Gallery in transition

The Higbee Company Gallery, as it is formally known, is a grand space with soaring 25′ ceilings of coffered oak and graceful travertine pilasters with colorful capitals, remnants of its history as Kent State’s first library building. Where once tall stacks of books stood and students crammed for exams we now place some of the finest costumes from the 17th century to the present. In the empty space it’s easy to imagine its past; quiet and serious, and very scholarly.

Students studying in Rockwell Hall. Picture courtesy of KSU Special Collections and Archives.

Soon, however, the space will be filled brightly dressed mannequins and colorful wall hangings that have a new academic purpose: inspiring and educating visitors, including the next generation of designers from Kent’s outstanding fashion school, with the work of a true artist. Added bonus: he’s one of our faculty members! We hope to see you there!

Jim Williams

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