Up now at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Vested Interest, tackles the notion of imbued meaning in garments and constructions of dress. Contemporary artists take to the idea, and offer their takes on the theme. The press release states: 

“Garments and accessories have long been used as a way to share ideas and to address topics of social and cultural significance. Vested Interest comprises the works of seventeen contemporary artists who use dress to investigate issues of significant personal importance. Historical examples of adornment convey messages that offer an expanded context for understanding the social dimension of dress.

Several contemporary artists play on the idea that adornment can reveal personal opinions in a very public way. Lisa Anne Auerbach (CA), a passionate advocate for social change, knits sweaters and scarves emblazoned with text that encourages action. Others draw attention to the act of garment-making, tying into a broader investigation of labor, industry, and power. Undercutting “big business” and capitalist avenues of production, Alabama Chanin (AL) designs hand-stitched and embroidered garments that are constructed with care by artisans who live and work in Florence, Alabama. Still other artists find ways of linking personal history or beliefs to the idea of dress on a broader scale. Mark Newport (MI) presents his hand-knitted full-body suit, The Patriot, to simultaneously explore his own ideas of masculinity, stereotypes about men who knit, and what wearing red, white, and blue might mean today.”

A interesting exploration of art and theory at one of Americas most innovative art centers. Open until September.

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