Lecture to Highlight Beauty and Texture of African Textiles

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida Tech’s Department of Humanities and Communication presents “Fashioning Africa: Culture and History through Textiles,” a special guest lecture on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.

Victoria Rovine, assistant professor in the University of Florida’s School of Art History and Center for African Studies, will be the lecturer. The talk will be held in the Denius Student Center’s second-floor Hartley Room, in the heart of campus.

Rovine conducted her doctoral research in Mali, where she explored the revival of traditional textiles as part of that country’s contemporary art and fashion scenes. Her book on the subject, Bogolan: Shaping Culture through Cloth in Contemporary Mali, was published by Smithsonian Institution Press in 2001. It is being republished by Indiana University this year as part of its prestigious African Expressive Cultures series.

She has published numerous book chapters and articles on textiles, dress and contemporary arts in Africa. Her current research concerns African fashion designers in global markets. Rovine received a Getty Foundation Curatorial Research Grant and a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center residency to pursue this project.

Florida Tech’s Funk Textiles Gallery exhibit “Patterns of Life: Kuba Cloth and Design” runs through Dec. 12. It features Kuba cloth from the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) that was donated to the university by trustee, Ruth Funk. Kuba cloth is woven from fiber derived from the Raphia vinifera palm. The palm tree is a plentiful and quickly renewable source, making the raffia fiber itself a symbol of abundance and regrowth.

The lecture is open and free to the public. For more information, call (321) 674-8082.


Pictured here is Florida Tech Director of Fine Arts Programs and gallery curator Carla Funk.

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