Arts & Culture

Exhibit showcases UK Theatre's work 'Dressing the Character'


LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 20, 2023) — The University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance’s costume studio will be featured in an upcoming exhibition at the Lexington Public Library’s Central Library Gallery, at 140 E. Main St, on view from July 21–Sept. 10, 2023.  

“Dressing the Character: The intersection of art and education in the College of Fine Arts Costume Studio” will open to the public during the LexArts HOP on Friday, July 21. The exhibition will highlight a variety of costumes designed for the UK Department of Theatre and Dance productions spanning 2013-2023. Featured costumes represent a variety of historical eras and costume techniques and include pieces from “School for Scandal,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde.” The exhibition will be accompanied by masterclasses led by costume designer Tracy Barber-Ward in the Farish Theatre with dates to be announced.  

“For some time now, our focus for the Central Library Gallery has been three-dimensional art. It simply tends to be more eye-catching, and it has helped us focus on a wider variety of mediums, including textiles.” says Doug Tattershall, community arts manager for the Lexington Public Library. “Featuring costumes from the Department of Theatre and Dance is a natural choice for the space not only because of the artistry of the body of work, but because of the work’s connection to storytelling. Library customers love storytelling, and this presents a new way to think of storytelling — 'How do costumes help tell a story? How do the costumes help you instantly recall a story you have heard before, or make guesses about one you do not yet know? Does such a close look at them make you think of that story differently?'” 

The Department of Theatre and Dance, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Students in the department get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from professional faculty and renowned guest artists in acting, directing, playwriting, theatrical design, and technology. From mainstage productions to student-produced shows, students have opportunities to participate on stage or backstage. Special programs include a musical theatre certificate, education abroad, as well as a thriving dance degree program that emphasizes technique, composition, performance and production. 

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.