Austin Peay State University’s New Gallery Presents New Clothing Exhibition



Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, Tennessee – Austin Peay State University (APSU) The New Gallery, with the support of the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts and the Department of Art + Design, is pleased to present Preserve & Protect to continue an engaging 2021-22 exhibition season.

Co-curated by Michael Dickins, Director of The New Gallery, and Erika Diamond, Curator and Deputy Director of CVA Galleries at the Chautauqua Institution, this exhibition of conceptual work on clothing examines the complex ways in which textiles, especially clothing , tell the stories of the past, present and future. More than just armor for the body, they relay the resilience of a culture – worn as protection but also as a means of proclaiming its identity.

“Textiles are used to protect us, to tell our stories and to display our privilege,” said Diamond. “Through recognizable structures in historical fashion and strategic embellishments, these textiles recontextualize and affirm wrapped stories. They assert the value of the lives lost because of the lingering ideals of colonialism, bigotry and unequal power structures. They reveal competing stories and ask for a better future.

One piece from the work of Winnie van der Rijn.
A piece from the work of Winnie van der Rijn.

The exhibition includes works by Michael Sylvan Robinson, Paul Rucker, Stephanie Syjuco, Winnie van der Rijn and Anangookwe Wolf.

Their works “testify and challenge our common American history,” said Diamond. “They wonder what stories have had the privilege of being heard. They ask for a more inclusive fatherhood of our common history. Together, they represent an army of truths. Are we going to answer this call to arms and start protecting each other, listening to each other’s stories, and sharing our abundance of resources? “

The exhibition opens Monday, November 1 and continues through December 10 at the new gallery, located in the Art + Design building on the campus of Austin Peay State University.

Some of The work of Anangookwe Wolf.
Part of the work of Anangookwe Wolf.

“Art often challenges our conventions and beliefs, and sometimes looking at artwork can be uncomfortable,” Dickins said. “The works in this exhibition can be triggering for some. It is important that our visitors are aware of this before entering the exhibition. But we invite everyone to join us in this conversation.

Several events accompany the exhibition:

  • Diamond will be giving a curatorial talk at 6 p.m. on November 1 in Room 106 A / B at the Sundquist Science Complex. This event is in person but will also be broadcast live, courtesy of CECA. You can subscribe to the live broadcast at this link.
  • A talk with Diamond and Dickins will take place at 12:15 p.m. on November 2 in the new gallery.
  • Exhibiting artist Paul Rucker will visit the APSU campus to give an artist talk on his work and creative practice at 6:00 p.m. on November 9 in Room 106 A / B at the Sundquist Science Complex. This event is live, but will also be broadcast live, courtesy of CECA. You can subscribe to the live broadcast at this link.

This exhibition will be open during the next two Art Walks on the first Thursday of Clarksville from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on November 4 and December 2.

All events are free and open to the public.

A virtual tour of the exhibition will soon be available on

The opening hours of the new gallery are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, closed on weekends and public holidays, and follow the academic calendar of the university.

For more information on this exhibition, which is free and open to the public, contact Dickins at [email protected]

About the artists

Michael sylvan robinson

Michael Sylvan Robinson
Michael sylvan robinson

Internationally exposed queer fiber artist, activist and leader in arts education, Robinson received an MA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College (2008) and a BA from Bennington College (1989) with a major in dance and theater.

He is director of arts at Poly Prep School in Brooklyn. Originally a costume designer and performance artist, their contemporary 2D and 3D fibrous art has been featured in galleries and exhibitions including Rome Art Week 2019 and 2021, the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco, and as semi-finalist for the prestigious Sondheim Prize in Baltimore.

Eight of Michael Sylvan Robinson’s recent works were included in “Remnants” at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts (Spring 2021), and their wearable art dress “Priestessing the Work of Healing” was featured in Vogue Germany (April 2021). Learn more at

Paul rucker

Paul Rucker
Paul rucker

Rucker is a multimedia visual artist, composer and musician. His practice often incorporates live performances, original musical compositions and visual art installations. For nearly two decades, Rucker has used his brand of art as a social practice, which highlights the legacy of slavery in America and its relationship to the current socio-political moment.

His work is the product of a rich interactive process through which he investigates community impacts, human rights issues, historical research and fundamental human emotions. Rucker has received numerous scholarships, awards and residencies for the visual arts and music.

[3200left]He won the Creative Capital Grantee for visual arts in 2012 as well as the MAP Fund Grantee for performance. He has received a Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptors Fellowship and the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, for which he is the first artist in residence at the new National Museum of African American Culture. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, TED Fellow and Senior Fellow, Rauschenburg Fellow, and iCubed Arts Research Fellow at Virginia Commonwealth University.

He is the Curator of Creative Collaboration for VCUarts at Virginia Commonwealth University. Learn more at

Stephanie Syjuco

Stephanie Syjuco
Stephanie Syjuco

Syjuco works in photography, sculpture, and installation, moving from handmade and craft-inspired mediums to digital editing and archival digs. Using critical thinking and collaborative co-creation, his projects leverage open source systems, shareware logic, and capital flows to investigate the problems of economies and empire.

Recently, she has focused on how photography and image-based processes are involved in the construction of racialized and exclusionary narratives of history and citizenship. She was Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, in 2019-2020.

She is featured in the ninth season of the acclaimed PBS documentary series “Art21: Art in the Twenty-First Century”. Recent exhibitions include “Being: New Photography” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; “Public Knowledge” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; “Stéphanie Syjuco: Rogue States” at the Saint-Louis Contemporary Art Museum; and “Disrupting Craft: the 2018 Renwick Invitational” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Born in the Philippines in 1974, Syjuco received her MFA from Stanford University and her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.

She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship Award 2014, a Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Award 2009 and a Tiffany Foundation Award 2020. Her work has been exhibited widely, notably at MoMA / PS1, the Whitney Museum of American Art, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, at the ZKM Center for Art and Technology, at the California Biennale at the Orange County Museum of Art, at the 12th Havana Biennale. , The Asian Art Biennial 2015 (Taiwan), among others.

A longtime educator, she is an associate professor of sculpture at the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in Oakland, California. Learn more at

Winnie van der Rijn

Winnie van der Rijn
Winnie van der Rijn

Van der Rijn is a multidisciplinary artist of opportunity – collecting materials, experimenting with techniques and pursuing her curiosities. Her artistic practice includes textiles, sculpture, collage and collaboration (which she considers her own art form).

Van der Rijn actively exhibits his work across the United States. Having learned throughout her life, she graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989 with a BA in Sociology. She studied engraving, sculpture, metallurgy and Marxist theory. In addition, van der Rijn explored weaving, machine knitting, book making, altars, explosive picture boxes, automatons, shoe making, headgear, tailoring, smelting, stamping, metal weaving, resin, riveting, precious metal clay and mixed media.

Van der Rijn, a seventh generation Californian, is based in New York City. Learn more here at

Wolf Anangookwe

Loup Anangookwe
Wolf Anangookwe

Wolf is an interdisciplinary artist who interweaves narratives of Dakota family history in relation to cultural heritage and current afflictions.

Using traditional and contemporary craft forms, connecting the past and the present, their main goal is to create a visual story of the interpersonal life of those they have known and never met for the next generation. Wolf attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles and received a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

They are studying for a Master of Arts degree from Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina. Learn more at



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