By Abi Brown & Rachel Shepard – Arts Editor & Copy Editor
From April 6 to 16, in the Wedeman Art Gallery located in Yamawaki Center for the Arts, was its latest exhibit, cleverly titled “It’s Gone To Your Head.”
This current collection features a variety of hats from different eras. The pieces on display are from both the School of Fashion’s archive, and personal donations from students, alumni, and professors. After three years in the making, this is an exhibit for the books.
The exhibit was curated by Professor of Fashion Jill Carey with her FASH420: Resource Collection Management class in partnership with Associate Professor of Graphic Design and Wedemen Gallery Director Vladimir Zimakov.
The hats in the collection are dated from the late 1800s to the 2010s, ranging around the globe in origin, according to fashion design junior and student curator Tyson Buggs, a member of the FASH420 class.
The students who assisted in curating this exhibit went through a process of applications to get into the course. Once accepted, there was a long process of research and development. As a four-person team, not including the alumni who worked on this pre-COVID-19, these students had to prove themselves in order to have such a prominent role in the whole curating process of the exhibit.
Sarah Cerise (‘20) and Kendra Sperry (‘10) were part of the initial team that began to “spotlight” hats for the collection. They stated that their basic criteria were based on the quality of the hat and if it could fit around a mannequin’s head without being damaged.
Current students in the FASH420 class continued designating which hats would be featured; but additionally worked on banners, display cards, newsletters, and coordination with faculty and alumni.
As a fashion design junior and a member of the FASH420, Emmanuella Brempong stated, “what Professor Carey had us doing in class was editing descriptions of the vignettes [and] designing banners. You’d come over to the gallery a couple of times during the week and design the layout for where the hats were going to go on transporting materials, things like that. So it’s been a very tough couple of weeks, but the reward has been very interesting to see.” This shows the efforts that these few students experienced to create this exhibit.
Brempong had her work featured in the collection too. “Downy Cap” was on the second floor of the gallery. “I actually contributed one artifact, which is the COVID and downy cap. I designed and made about 30 for my mother and many other workers at UMass Memorial. So that’s one of my favorites,” she said.
The exhibit is now closed, but the Wedemen Gallery is in the process of creating a virtual exhibit on the gallery’s website for Symposium that will be available for all, according to Zimakov.