Costume Design at the Turn of the Century: 1990-2015

Curated International Exhibition in Galleries Across Campus

Sponsored by: The Departments of Art and Art History, Drama, and New Media, Arts and Ideas, Ramsey Library, and Cultural Events and Special Academic Programs (CESAP)

Costumes will be displayed in S. Tucker Cooke Gallery, Owen Hall and in Blower's Gallery, Ramsey Library 

When: August 22–September 21, 2016
Where: S. Tucker Cooke Gallery and the Second Floor Gallery, Owen Hall
Opening Reception: Friday, August 26, 6:00–8:00 p.m. (light refreshments will be served)
Gallery Hours: 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Monday–Friday

When: August 15–September 28, 2016
Where: Blower's Gallery, Ramsey Library 
Opening Ceremony: Friday, August 26, 5:00–6:00 p.m. (light refreshments will be served)
Gallery Hours:

* Zeis Hall will also be open on Friday, August 26 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Exhibition of Student Costume Designs

When: August 15–September 7, 2016
Where: Highsmith Art and Intercultural Gallery
Opening Reception: Friday, August 26, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Gallery Hours: 9:00 a.m.
6:00 p.m. Monday–Saturday;  noon–6:00 p.m. Sunday

All events are free and open to the public.

A Short History of The Project

This exhibition was initiated through collaboration between OISTAT (International Organisation of Scenographers, Theatre Architects, and Technicians) and the A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum in Moscow, Russia. The idea for the exhibition originated four years ago after the meeting of the OISTAT Costume Design Group in Prague, during the Prague Quadrennial 2011.

The work of costume designers from 31 countries is included in this exhibition, which showcases costume design projects for theatre, opera, dance, film, fashion, and performing art during the past 25 years. Costume renderings, production photos, three-dimensional costume installations, artistic images of costumes in other settings as well as short performance videos will be featured in the exhibition. Some of the work will be presented in a digital portfolio format.

Our intention is to give the opportunity to expand the horizons of costume craftsmen and designers through showcasing a variety of styles and ideas and development of new materials and technologies in contemporary theatre. We hope that all those amazing designs will inspire participants in, as well as visitors to, this exhibition.

All of the data we collected for the exhibition will be included in the catalog Costume at the Turn of the Century: 19902015.  It will also be archived, preserved, and shared with professionals, educators, and future designers as well as for the general public through the OISTAT/BCSTM Gallery on our website:



Press Release: UNC Asheville hosts U.S. premiere of international exhibit

Growing up in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, UNC Asheville Visiting Professor of Drama Igor Roussanoff would go to the theater twice a week, every week.

“And I mean theater,” he said, “not movie theaters!”

Since then, Roussanoff has spent much of his professional life in the theater, working as a costume and set designer, producer, and art director. This fall, Roussanoff will bring the international costume exhibit, Costume at the Turn of the Century: 1990-2015 to UNC Asheville, from August 15–September 28, 2016.

The exhibition took Roussanoff two years to curate and features more than 1500 designs by 300-plus designers from 31 countries—which Roussanoff selected from more than 7,000 submissions. The exhibit was first hosted by the A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum in Moscow, and was so popular it had to be extended, twice.

The extensive exhibit will take place in galleries and spaces across UNC Asheville’s campus—the S. Tucker Cooke and Second Floor Galleries in Owen Hall, the first floor of Ramsey Library, and the second floor of Zeis Hall—and will include artists’ drawings, digital renderings, actual costumes, and even videos, so viewers can see the costumes in action. The Highsmith Intercultural Art Gallery will feature costume designs by Roussanoff’s students.

“This will be the U.S. premier of the exhibition Costume at the Turn of the Century: 1990-2015, and I believe Asheville is the perfect city for it,” Roussanoff said.

“People of Asheville like to dress up. They wear costumes all the time. It is a city of parties and carnivals!!!” he said. “All I have to do is just step outside of my downtown apartment and, here we are, I’m lucky. So nice and beautiful!!!”

“Sharing the work of costume designers from so many countries with our students and the Asheville community as a whole provides the opportunity to better understand the world around us. It helps us to see the differences and the similarity of styles and cultures,” Roussanoff said

The time period of the exhibition, 1990-2015, provides yet another insight. “I picked those specific years because 1990 is the end of the Cold War, and the fall of the Soviet Empire and beginning of the new era. The turn of the century brought so many changes to our everyday life. New technologies, new opportunities, new worries….And we can see it in theatre, like watching yourself in the mirror.”  

Roussanoff said he expects guests from around the world to attend the exhibit at UNC Asheville, which will include a special performance by the internationally acclaimed costume and performance artist from Spain, Mariaelena Roqué, and UNC Asheville Professor of Music, Wayne Kirby, at 6 p.m. on August 23 in Highsmith Union Grotto. An opening ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. on August 26 in the Blowers Gallery of Ramsey Library, followed by a reception at 6 p.m. in the S. Tucker Cooke Gallery.