New clothing exhibition – “Preserve & Protect” – to reveal our “veiled stories”


CLARKSVILLE, TN – Austin Peay State University’s new gallery, with support from the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts and the Department of Art and Design, is pleased to present Preserve & Protect to continue an engaging 2021-22 exhibition season.

Co-curated by Michael Dickins, director of The New Gallery, and Erika Diamond, curator and deputy director of CVA galleries at the Chautauqua Institution, this exhibition of conceptual work on clothing examines the complex ways in which textiles, particularly clothing , tell the stories of the past, present and future. More than just armor for the body, they relay the resilience of a culture – worn as protection but also as a means of proclaiming its identity.

“Textiles are used to protect us, to tell our stories and to display our privilege,” said Diamond. “Through recognizable structures in historical fashion and strategic embellishments, these textiles recontextualize and affirm wrapped stories. They assert the value of the lives lost because of the lingering ideals of colonialism, bigotry and unequal power structures. They reveal competing stories and ask for a better future.

The exhibition includes works by Michael Sylvan Robinson, Paul Rucker, Stephanie Syjuco, Winnie van der Rijn and Anangookwe Wolf.

Their works “testify and challenge our common American history,” said Diamond. “They wonder what stories have had the privilege of being heard. They ask for a more inclusive fatherhood of our common history. Together, they represent an army of truths. Are we going to answer this call to arms and start protecting each other, listening to each other’s stories, and sharing our abundance of resources? ”

The exhibition opens Monday, November 1 and will run through December 10 at the new gallery, located in the Art + Design building on the Austin Peay campus.

“Art often challenges our conventions and beliefs, and sometimes looking at artwork can be uncomfortable,” Dickins said. “The works in this exhibition can be triggering for some. It is important that our visitors are aware of this before entering the exhibition. But we invite everyone to join us in this conversation.

Several events accompany the exhibition:

  • Diamond will be giving a curatorial talk at 6 p.m. on November 1 in Room 106 A / B at the Sundquist Science Complex. This event is in person but will also be broadcast live, courtesy of CECA. You can subscribe to the live broadcast at this link.
  • A talk with Diamond and Dickins will take place at 12:15 p.m. on November 2 in the new gallery.
  • Exhibiting artist Paul Rucker will visit campus to give an artist talk on his work and creative practice at 6 p.m. on November 9 in Room 106 A / B at the Sundquist Science Complex. This event is live, but will also be broadcast live, courtesy of CECA. You can subscribe to the live broadcast at this link.

This exhibition will be open during the next two Art Walks on Clarksville’s First Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on November 4 and December 2. All events are free and open to the public.

A virtual tour of the exhibition will soon be available on The opening hours of the new gallery are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, closed on weekends and holidays, and follow the university’s academic calendar.

For more information on this exhibition, which is free and open to the public, contact Dickins at [email protected]

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