September 28 – December 9, 2007
Named for Ixchel, the Maya patron goddess of weaving, healing, and childbirth, Ixchel’s Thread showcases selections from the Bowdler Textile Collection of Maya weavings from Guatemala. The exhibition included approximately 35 elaborately woven and decorated huipils, the classic Maya women’s formal wear, as well as lectures, presentations, and weaving demonstrations of contemporary garments reflecting adaptations of traditional Maya techniques and designs to a contemporary 21st century market.
As part of the exhibition, the Gallery hosted Domitila Curuchich, a master weaver from Guatemala who demonstrated ancestral weaving techniques, and will produce a garment on site with traditional designs still used in modern fashion design. The exhibit was accompanied by a lecture series featuring experts on Maya weaving and culture.
Ixchel’s Thread was co-curated by James Farmer, Ph.D, Associate Professor and former Chair of VCUarts Art History Department, Linda Lee, Assistant Professor in VCUarts Fashion Design and Merchandising Department, and R. McKenna Brown, PhD, Professor and Director of the VCU School of World Studies.