EXposing identities in art: New event explores culture through fashion

When students venture into the Farinon atrium this Saturday, they will see an event that showcases an individual's identity through the avenues in art.

Sponsored by Lafayette African and Caribbean Students Association (LACSA), Lafayette Activities Forum (LAF) and Association of Black Collegians (ABC) the event entitled EXposure Art-Fashion Experience.

Anthropology and sociology major, and Chinese minor, Marcus Vilmé ‘17, created and organized the event. Last semester during a Lafayette African and Caribbean Student Association board meeting, I thought about creating an event that would unite the campus through an expression of culture and identity,” Vilmé said.

As the public relations officer in LACSA, Vilmé said he became upset that, in his experience, many general body meetings ultimately became board meetings, because students would not attend. He reached out to other campus groups and asked if they felt similarly. After hearing similar results Vilmé said he felt strongly enough to attempt change. He brainstormed and researched peers’ Facebook pages to see what types of events gathered large crowds. This was when he thought of hosting a fashion show.

“My peers at other institutions held extraordinary fashion shows that were not only attended by the general campus, but also by residents in the area,” Vilmé said. “I wanted to hold a similar event while incorporating different forms of art.”

Vilmé’s vision involved students, faculty and staff from the Lafayette community, as well as Easton residents.

He has worked with students and faculty members on campus including deans, coordinators and professors who share his interest in the event.

“I believe that this event should and did not have any type of hierarchical system,” Vilmé said. “Everyone who is either helping or participating plays an equal role in this event. As I had mentioned to the professional staff, the only way this event will be successful is if the campus wants it to be successful.”

Saturday’s events include spoken word pieces, performances and a fashion show. In years to come, Vilmé said he hopes this year’s event will serve as a preview for bigger versions to come.

“For the future, I know this event will expand to various other avenues in art,” he said. “All in all, it will be a night of creativity and individuality exposed to the campus.”

Even the capital letters in the event’s name are a “stylistic choice.”

“I wanted the event’s name to standout in some way,” he said.

But Vilmé said he credits everyone involved with the creation of the event.

“The biggest thing I would like to emphasize is that this event could not have been possible without the assistance from individuals on campus,” Vilmé added. “I am the individual who thought up the idea however this event solely thrives off of the creativity of all of us.”

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