Ohio Dominican University’s Wehrle Gallery will host an exhibition by Columbus-based textile and fashion designer Celeste Malvar-Stewart from Sept. 6 – Oct. 25. The exhibit, “I AM: Exploring Spiritual Connectivity through Fiber,” features unique, sustainable and ethical pieces and will be on display exclusively at ODU to help celebrate the gallery’s theme of “The Year of the Body.”
An opening reception for the exhibit will take place from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6, in the gallery and is open to the public.
“’I AM’ features various pieces of hand-felted, naturally dyed, and hand-spun garments and wall hangings that utilize fiber as a way to explore and create a visual representation of God's presence in our daily lives, and to interpret the constant guidance present in the universe,” said Malvar-Stewart. “The exhibition's title is drawn from Exodus 3:13-14 where Moses encounters the burning bush and asks God what he should tell the children of Israel when they should ask what his name is, "And God said unto Moses, ‘I Am that I Am.’”
In addition to the various pieces on display, visitors will have an opportunity to interact in a self-reflective space where they can create a physical connection from one textile installation to another using local fibers. The exhibition also will include a short video that offers an in-depth look into Malvar-Stewart’s work.
Malvar-Stewart has worked as an independent sustainable fashion and textiles designer for over 25 years, and her works have been featured in international exhibits and runway shows. Under her label MALVAR = STEWART, she designs a non-seasonal line of women’s clothing and accessories by using salvaged fine vintage fabrics, wool, alpaca and mohair from local farmers, and natural dyes. Emphasis is placed on nonconventional designs that are environmentally friendly, and locally and ethically sourced, consistent with sustainable practices.
A featured artist with Columbus Makes Art, Malvar-Stewart also teaches as adjunct faculty at the Columbus College of Art & Design.
The Wehrle Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free. The gallery is located on Ohio Dominican University’s campus at 1216 Sunbury Road, Columbus, 43219.
Above photography by Thomas Nichols.