Threads of Tradition

On Thursday, March 1, senior Kate Kelly and the Colgate Art Department brought textile traditions of indigenous peoples of the Andes to the Longyear Museum of Anthropology.

The exhibition’s opening reception took place in Alumni Hall’s Longyear Museum. The display cases lining the walls and occupying the floorspace were filled with colorful, personality-filled woven pieces including belts, hats, bags and other clothing. These displays were complemented by a delicious array of appetizers and drinks, which the sizable crowd eagerly devoured while awaiting the gallery talk, to be given by Kelly, the senior curatorial intern who researched and compiled the exhibit.

After thanking the department and the many sponsors whose support made the ex-hibit possible, Kelly explained the history of the textiles on display and how they are and have been featured in the Aymara and Quechua Andes cultures.

Kelly’s involve-ment with this ex-hibit started in the fall of 2010, when she worked with her advisor, Senior Cura-tor of the Longyear Museum Professor Lorenz, to decide on South American tex-tiles as a research top-ic for the summer of 2011. As a curatorial intern in the Long-year Museum, Kelly spent that summer working within a Summer Undergrad-uate Research grant from the University Studies office researching South American textiles and ultimately conceiving this exhibit.

“Working on this exhibit was a great learn-ing experience and an incredible opportunity,” Kelly said. “I loved it.”

Although the exhibit didn’t earn Kelly academic credit, her hard work and effort showed themselves in the beautiful setup of textile displays and in the professional, in-formed speech she gave at the opening re-ception. It was a truly impressive event that represented a huge time investment and a real love of the subject matter. Kelly hopes to get an internship in a museum after grad-uating this spring and eventually move on to graduate school in museum studies.

Contact Claire Aziz at [email protected].