“Feel free to look, touch or even try on!” Words you might not hear everyday when approaching an art exhibit that were offered up this week as students visited the Central Asia textile exhibit displayed in the Curtis Dining Hall. Viktoria Shalaginova beamed with pride as members of the Denison community admired fabric and clothing collected by VOICES International, an organization she directs out of Washington D.C. On Friday, she also gave an artist talk in the Provost Dining Room, highlighting the creation and usage of these incredible works.

Shalaginova’s exhibit included examples of traditional feltwork, weaving and embroidery, as well as work by HoonArts, a Fair Trade collective that specializes in bringing textile work from Tajikistan to the U.S. In its two-day showing, the collection attracted a varied crowd, as students and faculty alike caught a glimpse of the bright colors and intricate detail work while grabbing a meal or passing through the building.

Fortunately, the Central Asia Textile exhibit was not your only chance to explore a unique and often unsung culture. Sponsored by the International Studies Program, Celebrating Central Asia is a ongoing series of talks and presentations, that speak to the diversity and multifacetedness of this part of the world. Upcoming events include a talk on the Post-Soviet Transition in Central Asia on April 11 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. in Olin 114, and a student-led panel on Central Asian Students at U.S. Colleges on April 18, at 5:00 p.m. in Burton Morgan 115.