The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ellis Owusu-Dabo assisted by the Faculty of the Department of Industrial Art of the College of Art and Built Environment of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi has jointly launched the fifth KNUST Graduate Exhibition and Fashion Show on the Kumasi campus on 12th August, 2022.
In his welcome address, Head of the Department of Textiles and Fashion, Professor Ebenezer K. Howard, said in line with the KNUST’s 70th Anniversary celebrations on the theme: A New Age for A Renew Focus, 2022, the Planning Committee of the Graduate Fashion Week coined the theme: Renaissance. This is to unearth the creative talent of students to derive KNUST’s 70th Anniversary celebration agenda.
Professor Howard stated that Ghana’s unemployment woes can be reduced to the barest minimum if the government gives priority to industrial and Indigenous art education and industry in Ghana. He said studies show that the so-called giant economies such as the USA, UK, and China, just to mention a few, built their economies around applied art industries in which textiles and fashion played a significant role.
He further stated that the Department of Industrial Art has trained and continues to train qualified skilled personnel for the production sector employing a significant number of youths across the country. Some have set up on their own whereas others have been employed to assume critical positions in the industry. He also used the occasion to invite relevant stakeholders, investors, and the government to partner with the Department for sustainable development.
Professor Howard revealed that the Launch precedes the main event, a fashion show to be held on 9th September, 2022. He also announced an open exhibition from the 5th to 8th September, 2022 at the Semanhyia Mall to showcase the creative works of graduating students across all disciplines in the Department.
Launching the event, Professor Owusu-Dabo applauded the efforts of faculty and non-teaching staff for sustaining the event over the years. He said as a University, our resourcefulness should be demonstrated in all facets of development. Again, the talents of faculty and students should be showcased beyond the confines of the University campus and beyond the shores of Ghana. It is, therefore, gratifying that students and faculty are doing so through their work and hoped their efforts would benefit the University and its surrounding communities.
The Pro Vice-Chancellor also commented that what he had witnessed at the event gives him hope for a bright future for the graduate students and it is the beginning of good things to come. He continued that the graduates are ready for the fashion industry.
Dean of the Faculty of Art, Professor Charles Frimpong, noted that the event had to be on hold for some time due to the COVID-19 pandemic to comply with covid protocols put in place by the government of Ghana and the Management of the University. According to him, the calendar event is one of the ways to showcase to the world what is taught and produced at the Faculty.
He revealed that the exhibitions mainly showcase fabrications in integrated art, jewellery, metal, textile, ceramic, and leather which is central in their work as creative professionals. The event is aimed at creating awareness of the thought-provoking and conceptual garment designs of the graduating students on the runway. It is also to publicise the various academic programmes within the Faculty and to put the University on the pedestal as the first public university in Ghana to offer a degree in fashion.