ARC fashion department students take on the Kaneko Gallery

Due to low enrollment, the department halts annual fashion show and hosts an exhibit


Head pieces designed by Tracey Benedict along with a dress designed by Thomas Gatewood at the Kaneko Gallery on April 4, 2023. (Photo by Jeralynn Querubin)

Despite the fashion department’s decision to hold an annual fashion show, the creativity continues to flow. Two American River College students, Tracey Benedict and Thomas Gatewood, showcased their curated pieces at the Kaneko Gallery. 

According to Dyanne Marte, department chair of fashion at ARC, the annual fashion show will not be held this year due to low enrollment for the collection design and production class. However, they anticipate more students will enroll next year to hold an annual fashion show.

While the collection design and production class experienced low enrollment this semester, the fashion department has a plan to add several workshops for students. A few of the workshops include–sewing, alterations for hospitality management and a sandal making workshop, according to Marte.

Whether or not students know how to sew, the fashion department welcomes students from different backgrounds with fashion. 

Anne Dieu, professor of fine arts, works with a range of students.

“They get to explore their own individuality, and areas that they really want to enrich their learning experience with,” Dieu said.

There are also a few high school students who take courses at the fashion department. 

There are no dual enrollment classes for fashion, however, Marte plans to establish dual enrollment classes for high school students to take.

Dual enrollment classes give students the opportunity to complete a degree or certificate within the fashion department early, according to Marte. 

It can take up to five years to complete a degree in fashion, said Marte. The collection design and production class is the last class students take before they graduate, which requires students to curate their own pieces into a collection.

“It’s a full-time job to put a collection together,” Dieu said. “If they’re taking other classes as well, if they have family that they’re taking care of [or] work, it’s very hard to manage your time and get everything done.”

Over the years, the department has students transferring to top fashion schools in New York like Parsons School of Design and Fashion Institute of Technology. 

“It’s great seeing that process in person. Then students get jobs in the industry or start their own businesses, it’s just fantastic,” Marte said.