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2018-19 Student / Faculty Exhibitions

Six Ways From Sunday 
Art and Design Graduating Student Exhibition
Crafting Change 
Expressions of Civility 
The Italian Way 
The Traphagen School: Fostering American Fashion 
X-RAYS of Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, and Givenchy 

6 Ways From Sunday MFA exhibition Poster
Image: Visual Thesis Exhibition 2019 poster. Courtesy of MFA Illustration.
Six Ways From Sunday
Gallery FIT
June 8 – July 13, 2019 

This exhibition represented the culmination of three years of hard work and personal exploration by six unique artists. Six artists who, side by side during their candidacies for the MFA degree in Illustration at FIT, found their own voices and developed their own approaches. The work on display featured depictions of deeply personal narratives, complex social circumstances, historical blind spots, mental health, media, and merchandise.


Graduation Student Exhibition Poster
Image: Art and Design Graduating Student Exhibition 2019 poster. Courtesy of FIT School of Art and Design.
Art and Design Graduating Student Exhibition
Gallery FIT & other locations
May 15 – 29, 2019 

The Art and Design Graduating Student Exhibition presented the work of more than 800 students receiving AAS and BFA degrees from the School of Art and Design. It was be on view throughout the main floors of the Marvin Feldman Center, the Shirley Goodman Resource Center, The Museum at FIT, the Art and Design Gallery in the Pomerantz Center and the John E. Reeves Great Hall. 

The art selected was the culmination of each student’s unique experience in the FIT’s diverse, challenging, and demanding undergraduate Art and Design programs. Featuring juried, award–winning, and thesis projects, the exhibition is the manifestation of several years of research, experimentation, critical thinking, and artistic proficiency. The Graduating Student Exhibition advanced the college’s applied philosophy that integrates practice in industry with theory and teaching inside the studio.

The exhibition featured work in 16 areas of study: Accessories Design, Advertising Design, Computer Animation and Interactive Media, Fabric Styling, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Jewelry Design, Menswear, Packaging Design, Photography, Textile Surface Design, Toy Design, and Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design.

For the first time that year, The Future is In The Making: the processes of thought and ideation leading to the work highlighted in the Graduating Student Exhibition complemented the exhibition, and was seen in the Art and Design Gallery in the Pomerantz Center.

FIT was part of NYCxDESIGN, New York City’s annual celebration of design which attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees and designers from across the globe.

For more information about the School of Art and Design, visit fitnyc.edu/artanddesign.


red, black, and white Strapless evening dress with long rectangular stole.
Image: Grenelle-Estevez, evening set, circa 1957, Gift of Sylvia Levine.
The Traphagen School: Fostering American Fashion
Gallery FIT
March 5 – 30, 2019 
Online Exhibition

The Traphagen School: Fostering American Fashion explored the legacy of one of the first institutions dedicated to educating fashion industry professionals in New York City. The impact of the school, in operation from 1923-1991, will be explored through an introduction to founder Ethel Traphagen, the main philosophies of the school, and its lasting influence. Highlights include ensembles by Geoffrey Beene and Anne Klein, evening wear by Luis Estevez and James Galanos, and illustrations by Antonio Lopez.

This exhibition, the first dedicated to the school, focused on the Traphagen methods of design-by-adaptation and experimentation, both of which are still used in design education and the fashion industry today. The Traphagen School also included never-before seen garments from the school’s study collection, as well as photographs, publications, and advertisements that chronicle the creative environment that Ethel Traphagen created for her students.


grayscale photo of woman with hands aorund neck
X-RAYS of Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, and Givenchy
Gallery FIT
February 6 – 16, 2019 

X-RAYS of Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, and Givenchy was the result of a collaboration between the students of FIT’s MFA Fashion Design program and The Museum at FIT. The project was part of a course entitled “Fashion Creation 3 - Design Archaeology,” which centered on the concept that in order to move design forward, it is of utmost value to know where it has been. 

The students were divided into four groups, and then each group was tasked with producing a replica of a couture garment from a leading fashion house: Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, or Givenchy. The original garments, housed in The Museum at FIT collection, were carefully researched by the students. In addition to creating the line-for-line replicas, the students gained a deep understanding of the brand’s heritage. They then developed a contemporary, technology-driven collection.

The display of process-based design work highlighted each student’s personal development, resulting in a fully realized look and an advertorial that completes their vision and projects a new direction for each house.


arms and hands reflective of different races embracing each other
Image: Courtesy of Ni Ouyang.
Expressions of Civility
Gallery FIT & Other Locations
November 19, 2018 – January 26, 2019 

Expressions of Civility was the annual Fashion Institute of Technology faculty/staff exhibition. For the first time ever, the faculty/staff show included student work. The theme was chosen in order to support and expand upon President Dr. Joyce F. Brown’s campus-wide initiative on civility, which culminated in October with Civility Week. All of the work featured in this multimedia exhibit revolved around this meditation on civility:

What does it mean to be civil in a world that is increasingly coarse and unkind? In an era during which personal attacks and inflammatory positions have superseded dialogue and debate, how do we seek to understand that which separates us? How do we build connections that increase empathy, inclusivity, knowledge, and community? Civility, and the ability to reconcile our differences for the greater good, are at the very root of a democratic society. Civility encourages forward movement, it moves us past our points of conflict, it fuels progress. Ultimately, it's the only thing that ever has.


painting from behind of a green statue of a winged woman against a blue sky
Image: Courtesy of Megan Brady.
The Italian Way, Lessons from the Masters of our Time
Gallery FIT
October 20 – November 10, 2018 

The Italian Way presented paintings and sketchbooks created by students who were participants in FIT’s month-long study abroad program in Florence, Italy. The students – sophomores, juniors, and seniors – were from the Fine Arts, Illustration, Packaging Design, and Graphic Design departments within the School of Art and Design at FIT. The goal of the abroad program was to build a bridge between the art of the Italian Renaissance and these young, contemporary artists.

Students were taught to paint with egg tempera, the medium of choice for many Renaissance artists. Egg tempera was then used to create all of the paintings in this exhibition, though students were not required to produce a finished painting. Instead, it was important that they experience first-hand what the artists of the Renaissance did to create their masterpieces. Through the process, students gained a better understanding and enhanced appreciation of the work and the craftsmanship of artists during 15th-century Italy. 

delicate beige fabric with irridescent organic patterning
Photo Credit: Laura Gauthier.
Crafting Change
Gallery FIT
September 15 – October 6, 2018 

The work of FIT students and faculty took center stage in the Gallery FIT exhibition Crafting Change. Organized by the Textile/Surface Design Department in conjunction with New York Textile Month, the works featured in Crafting Change used long-established techniques in a modern context to explore the shifting boundaries between art, design, and technology. Combining hand-crafting techniques with digital processes preserves tradition while pushing textiles into the future. Projects bridging science and textiles have the potential to revolutionize the fashion and textile industries, leading us to a more sustainable world. These works were promising examples of how FIT is successfully encouraging interdisciplinary mergers of craft, technology, and sustainability in order to usher textile arts into the 21st century.