Kent State Museum Exhibit Considers Assistive Technologies in Fashion Context
The Kent State University Museum will offer a fresh, design-focused survey of assistive and adaptive devices in an upcoming exhibition. “(dis)ABLED BEAUTY: The Evolution of Beauty, Disability and Ability” runs July 29, 2016, to March 12, 2017, in the museum’s Stager and Blum Galleries. The exhibit is co-curated by Tameka Ellington, Ph.D., assistant professor of fashion design at Kent State, and Stacey Lim, Au.D., Ph.D., CCC-A, assistant professor of audiology at Central Michigan University.
There also will be a free reception on Thursday, Sept. 29, from 5-7 p.m., including remarks by Kent State’s Amy Quillin, Ph.D., Kent State’s director of Student Accessibility Services, at 6 p.m. Please call 330-672-0300 to RSVP. The reception precedes the start of the university’s disAbility Awareness Month in October.
“(dis)ABLED BEAUTY” examines the aesthetic results of a historical reversal. In the past, assistive technologies were designed to be inconspicuous, a byproduct of the intense stigma attached to disability. Franklin D. Roosevelt famously shielded his use of a wheelchair and other devices from the public eye. However, in recent decades, fashionable and highly visible assistive technologies have been used to stand out, make a statement and challenge stigma.
“(dis)ABLED BEAUTY” traces the rich intersections between design, technology and adaptation, supporting the case advanced by actor-playwright and advocate Neil Marcus: “Disability is not a brave struggle or ‘courage in the face of adversity.’ Disability is an art. It's an ingenious way to live.”
About the Kent State University Museum
The Kent State University Museum is located at 515 Hilltop Drive, at the corner of East Main Street and South Lincoln Street in Kent, Ohio. The museum is open to the public on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m.-8:45 p.m.; and Sunday from noon-4:45 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for children under 18. The museum is free with a Kent State ID and free to the public on Sunday. Parking is free. For more information, call 330-672-3450 or visit www.kent.edu/museum.
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The pictured moto jacket, legging and T-shirt by IZ Collection in Canada can be seen in “(dis)ABLED BEAUTY: The Evolution of Beauty, Disability and Ability,” a new exhibition at the Kent State University Museum.