Fresh Eyes at ITAA’s Annual Conference

Guest contributor, Kelly Cobb, recaps and shares her pictures from this year’s ITAA annual conference, “Building Alliances” held in Montreal.


    Live gallery, audience view, Ballroom, Marché Bonsecour

    Hi all, are you still reeling from ITAA Montreal, 2010?

    This was my first experience at ITAA and was in attendance Wednesday-Saturday.  I presented Thursday morning, so I had PLENTY of time to enjoy the events and presentations.

    Posters-Until I saw my first poster presentation I could not wrap my head around what this was. PRO: I think this is a great tool to disseminate ones research as well as student research. The portable presentation is a smart idea and the Poster sessions were lively and energetic, it is a very unique way to get a lot of information across in a short amount of time. CON: In some cases cramming a bunch of statistics and text into a visual format does not please the eye.  My university has a multi-media center that can print high quality posters for under $20; perhaps you have this resource as well?

    Town Hall Meeting

    Community-Lineage to programs and kinship to mentors is big at ITAA.  The conference allows many generations of researchers and practitioners to connect. I admit that I felt kind of like the cousin who moves into the family from another state at ITAA, as my professional lineage descends from fiber art from a fine arts perspective. I am curious how those of you who are from different backgrounds negotiate ITAA.

    It was touching that my colleagues made a point to take me around and introduce and connect me with people. I also appreciated seeing my dedicated colleagues in their element, chatting and laughing with their former students and old friends. Many of them have been coming to ITAA for 30 years! It was meaningful for me to get to chat with the people who wrote many of the texts I use in my classes. Meeting the authors of the books I spend so much time with is a little like meeting the academic version of a movie star, would you agree?

    While I don’t directly connect with ITAA’s rich past as described above, I feel I have a place in ITAA’s dynamic future. I seemed to gravitate to other design professors-ok, this means if I saw someone who was interesting I went up to them and handed them my card. It was refreshing to meet others who are positive, ambitious and ready to collaborate.

    Live Gallery, Paris American Academy student entry, Ballroom, Marché Bonsecour

    View of mounted works, Ballroom, Marché Bonsecour

    Mounted Exhibit and Live Gallery-I love the two modes of viewing-I think logistically the event brings all the subsets of the ITAA umbrella together and to be in common agreement, and enjoyment! – I won’t get into politics here but ITAA has them!

    I have been so involved with building my teaching practice that I have not gotten my hands dirty in the studio in over a year. The live gallery inspired me to map out my year with studio as mandatory this spring and summer. Plan now for 2011, what will you be presenting or exhibiting?

    There are really so many things to mention-the town hall meeting, the fireside chat, Ralph Rucci’s emotive keynote speech, the career fair, the vendors, I can’t fit everything in, maybe you kind readers could comment on your experience in Montreal?

    View of Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal

    Philadelphia 2011

    This is my town ladies and gents: forget cheesesteaks, think Fabric Workshop and Museum, Paley Design Center, Drexel costume collection, Perlman Center at Philadelphia Museum of Art!   I would love to host a meet and greet somewhere outside of the hotel. Stay tuned….

    Live gallery, on the runway, Ballroom, Marché Bonsecour

Kelly Cobb is an Instructor of Fashion and Apparel studies at the University of Delaware.  Garment/research, her studio moniker, is an umbrella term for cross-genre works, usually involving the garment as a point of reference.  She lives in Philadelphia, PA.

All photos courtesy of Kelly Cobb.

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  • Jeanie November 15, 2010 10.42 pm

    Nice! It’s exciting to know that it’s in Philly next year, since that’s where I am!

  • Beth March 02, 2011 12.16 pm

    Agreed. I am a Philadelphia transplant and am very excited about all of the fashion related events happening in the city this year.


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