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South Coast Art Exhibit on Clothing Explores Social Issues

"Well, What Were You Wearing?" by Katherine Cambareri. The work is made up of photos of clothing that rape victims wore.

Clothing can be more than a fashion statement. An art exhibit on the South Coast explores how clothes can represent serious social issues.

Rachel Schmid, curator of the William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks created an exhibit called Material Culture.

“That idea of how much cloth means to society and particularly to women’s rights,” she said.

It highlights artists who incorporate clothing into their works to convey themes including immigration, femicide, rape and oppression. One work features photographs of clothing worn by rape victims. Another displays white t-shirts with sewn names to represent mass killings of women.

Schmid said visitors should come with an open mind.

“You hope and you expect to see beautiful things. You also should expect to be educated a little bit,” she said.

This free exhibit runs through October 29th. CLU is the parent of KCLU Radio.