Springfield library museum to host new exhibit

SPRINGFIELD — The Donald B. Palmer Museum of the Springfield Free Public Library is hosting “Proudly Made in the USA – Shoe and Bags,” an exhibit of handbags and shoes designed and created under the tutelage of fashion accessories designer, educator and Springfield resident Jennifer Siletski.

Siletski’s students, who range in age from 11 to adult, have participated in classes at the New Jersey School of Fashion Design and Accessories and New York Fashion Accessories Camp, launched last summer in NYC’s Fashion District. The exhibit will run from Jan. 7 through Feb. 6.

At Siletski’s schools, students and “campers” study and build handbags and shoes from initial design sketches and then work through every stage of the fabrication process to create a finished product under the guidance of industry professionals and master craftsmen.

Her students have experienced firsthand the workings of the fashion industry through educational field trips to notable design houses, fashion museums, factories and suppliers.

Although most of the items on display are the work of students in high school or college, at least one middle school student and two adults are among the mix of those having their creations exhibited. The majority of Siletski’s students are from Union and Essex counties but others come from as far away as Philadelphia, Deal and northwestern Morris County.

Students whose work is on exhibit include: Carly Bayroff, Candice Charles, Morgan Collins, Casey Hersh, Alaina Jennings, Jordan Langs, Hannah Liben, Brielle McCormick, Chloe Mandala, Holly Mandala, Julia Pallone, Maddy Ritholz, Lauren Rummel, Barbara Saka, Brenda Saka, Kara Smith, Grace Thomas, and Annette Wilcox.

Siletski received her training at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons: The New School, Art Students League and New York Academy of Art. She holds a BA in Fine Arts and AAS in Textile Design from FIT. She founded the New Jersey School of Fashion Design and Accessories in 1998 to share her passion for handbag design.

The Donald B. Palmer Museum is located inside the Springfield library at 66 Mountain Ave. Hours of the exhibit are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. More information about the Library can be found at www.springfieldpubliclibrary.com, by visiting the library’s Facebook page or by calling 973 376-4930 during regular library hours.