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Miami Art professor brings “From Fine Art to Fashion” exhibition to Oxford

Della Reams, Miami University assistant teaching professor of Art, will co-host an exhibition titled “From Fine Art to Fashion” from June 10 to July 1 at the Oxford Community Arts Center.

Flora dress by Della Reams
"Flora Dress" Utilizing fine art painting, digital printing, fashion draping, and sewing by hand and machine this collaborative dress was made by Della Reams and Larry Rushing. Reams’ work is inspired by color, the female body form and Rushing’s paintings.
Oxford and Beyond Campus Life Excellence and Expertise

Miami Art professor brings “From Fine Art to Fashion” exhibition to Oxford

# "Flora Dress" Utilizing fine art painting, digital printing, fashion draping, and sewing by hand and machine this collaborative dress was made by Della Reams and Larry Rushing. Reams’ work is inspired by color, the female body form and Rushing’s paintings. ()

 By Nate Jorgensen, University Communications and Marketing

Della Reams, Miami University assistant teaching professor of Art, will co-host an exhibition titled “From Fine Art to Fashion” from June 10 to July 1 at the Oxford Community Arts Center.

Joining Reams in the exhibition are New York City-based artists Larry Rushing and Hisham Dawoud. The trio’s art takes images of Rushing’s paintings, creates repeating fabric patterns from areas of the images, then creates one-of-a-kind dresses from the fabric — merging the artform of the painting with the form of a dress. 

"Larry and I planned a textile design collaboration as early as 2007,” Reams said. “However, it wasn't implemented until 2014 when I was teaching fashion design in Qatar and had access to a large-scale digital printer for the first time.”

She explained how the process worked. “Larry sent digital images remotely from New York. I developed prints, and Hisham and I worked together on draping the dresses — each design customized to feature a specific print in relation to the female body form. Some of the prints and dresses from this ongoing collaboration have taken years to develop, and this exhibition has been a long time coming.”

blooming-moth-dress-w-side-wing-6-mg.jpgThe exhibition will feature both digital prints of paintings and dresses, including the five inspirational paintings by Rushing and five finished dresses on dress forms. 

This exhibition is intended to be a cross-cultural collaboration.

Rushing is an African American painter with a master of fine arts from Tyler School of Art. Dawoud, a Palestinian fashion designer specializing in evening wear, is a former student of Reams with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University's Qatar campus. 

Reams is a European American fashion and textile designer and maker and lead fashion faculty at Miami. She has been creating one-of-a-kind textiles and apparel since earning a Master of Fine Arts degree from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2005.

“At RISD, I learned about creativity, as opposed to just making clothing, as I did when I had my own small clothing design and manufacturing company in Boston,” Reams said.

angel-house-back.jpgHer work has been shown in nine countries and has appeared in Boston Globe Magazine, Self Magazine and New York Times Magazine, and in several periodicals and books.

Rushing’s paintings are inspired by his southern rural and urban roots, his philosophy that femininity is the center of creativity, and the improvisational rhythm of jazz. He uses his anima to express an exquisite sense of color. His work has been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions in New York, Houston and France.

Dawoud grew up in Qatar and is a freelance fashion designer in New York, known as the "Ballgown Boy." He worked previously as a design assistant intern at KaufmanFranco, as a couture design intern at Marchesa, and as Ralph Rucci’s fashion assistant.

Learn more about Miami University’s fashion programs on the Department of Art website.