Only Textiles Center in Florida Opens Aug. 29 with “Coat Couture”

The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts at Florida Institute of Technology opens its doors to the public on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 10 a.m. Admission is free. The center is the only textile arts center in the state of Florida. 

Dedicated to furthering the understanding of cultural and creative achievements in the textile and fine arts, the center will preserve, maintain, display and interpret an international collection of textiles through public exhibitions and educational programs. 

“The much-anticipated center enriches the university’s humanities programs in ways we never dared dream,” said Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese. “We are very pleased to add this important aesthetic component to our vibrant campus.” 

The opening exhibit, Coat Couture: Inspiration to Creation, will feature the contemporary creations of the museum’s benefactor, Ruth E. Funk, and a selection of traditional textiles from the permanent collection. A Florida Tech trustee, Funk is a former art educator, life-long artist, collector and author. 

Curated by Carla Funk (no relation) and Thea Rusch, Coat Couture positions Ruth Funk’s wearable art in the context of global textile arts. African mud cloth, Chinese embroidery, Panamanian molas and Asian ikats are featured as the inspiration for her contemporary wearable art designs. 

Designed by Holeman Suman Architects, The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts is a two-story building with 3,000 square feet of exhibit space.

Coat Couture: Inspiration to Creation will be on view through Dec. 12, 2009.
Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. 

The university is located at 150 W. University Boulevard, Melbourne.

The new center is located in the heart of campus, next to Evans Library.

For more information, contact Carla Funk at (321) 674-6129, or visit

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