New “Dress Up, Speak Up” Exhibit at 21c Museum Hotel 

New “Dress Up, Speak Up” Exhibit at 21c Museum Hotel 

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Learn more about this one-of-a-kind exhibit featuring 38 artists from all around the globe.

Image: Kudzanai Chiurai; We Live in Silence XVIIII, 2017, Pigment print on
fiber paper

21Museum Hotels welcomes brand new exhibit that is unlike any other. The exhibit itself is housed in the 21c Museum Hotel right in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. 

Alice Gray Stites is the Chief Curator and Museum Director of the 21c Museum Hotels and is enthusiastic about the interest and attraction this exhibit promises. 

The inspiration behind the exhibit is very unique, Stites explains. “The use of fashion and other forms of embellishment to reveal the complexity of identity and as an act of resistance against discrimination and cultural erasure. In the artwork on view, regalia bodies, enacts, and expresses resistance against injustice and makes visible identities, experiences, and histories that have been ignored or suppressed by dominate cultures in post-colonial societies,” she adds. “The name ‘Dress Up, Speak Up: Regalia and Resistance’ came from the central idea of the exhibit – the use of clothing, jewelry, and other forms of embellishment as an expression of resistance.”

In the exhibit, there are over 38 artists’ work displayed from all over the world. 21C Museum Hotels are always on the forefront of trendsetting artwork and Dress Up, Speak Up is no different, Stites says. In this exhibit, guests can find:

• A quilt that looks like a painting, which is in fact a portrait of three people derived from 1940s-era photographs. 
• Three Kingsby Bisa Butler
• Birch wood helmets carved by using Native American handcrafting by Jeffrey Gibson
• 2 paintings by Kehinde Wiley, who painted President Obama’s official portrait

…and more.

The public can not only view the exhibit and pieces, but experience them as well. “The artists in this exhibition role-play in real time, looking back at histories both recorded and ignored, to expose the gaps and fissures in history and its representation in both the art canon and the media. For those who inherit a legacy of resisting cultural erasure, telling untold tales – lives, remembered, or imagined – remains vital,” says Stites.

The exhibit is located on 609 Walnut Street, next door to the Contemporary Art Museum and across the street from the Aronoff. The 21c Museum Hotel is open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. For more information, visit their website.

Hattie Martin
Hattie Martin is an editorial intern at Cincy Chic. She attends University of Cincinnati, majoring in Public Relations and Fashion Studies, complimented with a Creative Writing Certificate. When she is not found writing, you can find her at your local coffee shop or spending time in her hometown of Owensboro, Kentucky. Contact her at