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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee

New textile exhibit at URI features introduction
of the exotic into mainstream fashion

Gallery opening Monday night
to include belly dancing troupe

KINGSTON, R.I --April 25, 2003-- The University of Rhode Island’s Historic Textile Gallery will open a new exhibit, "Exotica into Americana," Monday, April 28, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. with a special program in Independence Hall auditorium.

The gallery is located in the Quinn Hall lobby and will be open with the new exhibit for about the next three months, Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 4 p.m. following the opening. URI’s Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design Department in the College of Human Science and Services presents the exhibit.

Admission to the exhibit-opening program in Independence Hall and to the gallery is free.

Monday night’s program features a performance by the belly dancing troupe Shekhinah, and the International Café will serve refreshments. Troupe co-founders Dina Johnson of Westerly and Sally Tschantz-Dwyer, costume shop manager at URI, will speak about belly dancing and the costumes created for the art.

The exhibit’s curators are Susan Hannel and Abby Lillethun, professors in the textiles program. The exhibit was put together by students from textiles Professor Margaret Ordonez’s classes.

"Our costume collection has many items that relate to or are from other cultures," Lillethun said. "We focus on the exotic as items coming from far-away places that are transformed into the mainstream of American culture. One example is the bandanna. It’s associated with the cowboys of the late 19th century, but it actually entered our use as a trade item from India in the colonial period. First it was a luxury item, and now it’s an egalitarian symbol. We’re also showcasing many tourist items."

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