Justin LeBlanc, fashion designer, design professor, and former contestant on Project Runway will discuss his journey of self-expression through art, architecture, and fashion and explain how you can create YOUR own unique brand. He is a frequent speaker on fashion design and on promoting equal access and respect for those with disabilities.
Justin is an Assistant Professor at the North Carolina State University College of Design. He has an Architecture degree from NC State and a Master of Design in Fashion, Body, & Garment from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was mentored by Nick Cave, a design professor at the Art Institute and a celebrated fabric sculptor. While a student at the Art Institute, Justin interned in London at Alexander McQueen’s fashion studio.
Justin was a Finalist on Project Runway, Season 12. This earned him a showing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. His collection, entitled “Sound Waves” reflected his journey from deafness to his ultimate reconciliation with sound, dramatically depicted by a gown made from pipette tips that sounded like rain as the model walked. That gown was Nina Garcia’s pick as “Best Design” featured on Project Runway in the past 10 years. Justin returned to compete again on Season 4 of Project Runway All Stars.
Justin’s designs have been featured at fashion shows and museum installations throughout the United States and he has been featured in Marie Claire, The Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, and the Raleigh News and Observer. Justin specializes in the use of fabric manipulation, unconventional material combinations, 3D printing, and other technologies to create novel collections that convey stories related to his life and passions. His recent collections have emphasized the use of North Carolina-made materials and resources.
There are very few published literary novels written from the authentic viewpoint of a Deaf person. The recently published novel, The Deaf Heart, is one of them. Author Willy Conley, a 1981 alumnus of NTID/RIT, will present on the process of creating his unique book. The presentation includes photographic slides and a video interview of the author. The presentation will take place at the Dyer Arts Center on Thursday, March 10th from 9:30am to 10:45am. The author will be availble to sign books after the presentation.
About the novel:
Told through a series of quirky, irreverent short stories and letters home during the early 1980s, The Deaf Heart chronicles a year in the life of Dempsey “Max” McCall, a Deaf biomedical photography resident at a teaching hospital on the island of Galveston, Texas. Max strives to become certified as a Registered Biological Photographer while straddling the deaf and hearing worlds. He befriends Reynaldo, an impoverished Deaf Mexican, and they go on a number of unusual escapades around the island.
At the hospital, Max has to contend with hearing doctors, nurses, scientists, and teachers. While struggling through the rigors of his residency and running into bad luck in meeting women, Max discovers an ally in his hearing housemate Zag, a fellow resident who is also vying for certification. Toward the end of his residency, Max meets Maddy, a Deaf woman who helps bring balance to his life.
Author Willy Conley’s stories, some humorous, some poignant, reveal Max’s struggles and triumphs as he attempts to succeed in the hearing world while at the same time navigating the multicultural and linguistic diversity within the Deaf world.
RIT/NTID's Dyer Arts Center is hosting a Collage Art party on Friday, February 26th from 6:00-9:00 PM as part of the Unfolding the Soul of Black Deaf Expressions Symposium. Led by RIT/NTID alumni and artist Takiyah Harris, attendees will create their very own Sun Solidarity collages. Join us in making friends and art, and learning about art history, including solidarity and Black De'VIA!
Tickets are $20 and cover supplies and light refreshments. Registration is limited to 30 people.
If you have any questions, please contact DyerArtsCenter@rit.edu.
Register now to secure your spot today!
We're doing the Wine and Art party again!
This time we have Sharon McKenney who will be teaching the #zentangle method. The event will be on Saturday, November 7th from 6pm to 9pm. Doors open at 5:45pm. Tickets are $50 and will include wine, finger foods, and art supplies. Space is limited to the first 30 who register, so buy your tickets now here: Wine and Zentangle