Location: Omni Hotel
For the Sake of Art gala, chaired by Merele Yarborough, honoring Shelby Marcus and Kermit Oliver, recently took place at the Omni Hotel. This gala/fashion show included presentations by 10 aspiring designers who created wearable works of art inspired by the paintings of Kermit Oliver. Texas-born Kermit Oliver attended Texas Southern University where he studied art and his talent was recognized immediately. Oliver became, and still is, the only American artist to design for the famed house of Hermes. His scarves continue to be major collectibles. Emcees Joy Sewing and Ernie Manouse, along with honorary chairs Ada Anderson, Robert Chavez, Tina Knowles-Lawson and Reginald Lee took to the stage to honor Texas Southern University, its amazing museum and the purpose of the evening.
I had the honor of being one of the judges, substituting for Heart of Fashion founder Vivian Wise, for the Sake of Art 2016. Our panel of 5 judges included artist Michelle Barnes, designer Cesar Galindo, Culturemap’s Clifford Pugh and designer Kevan Hall. Our panel met with the original 20 entrants a couple days before to personally review each of their design submissions. We were able to interview each designer individually to discuss their pieces, the inspiration, the fabrics, the labor and the designer’s personal stories. Us judges were all blown away by the talent of all 20 competitors. We then narrowed it down to 10 entrants to participate in the gala/fashion show. This was not an easy task, as so many of the designs were exquisite, intricate, thoughtful, labor-intensive and unique. It was an amazing experience. I also have to say that our panel of judges got along famously and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know one another as well.
For the Sake of Art 2016 was the fourth in a series of wearable art competitions which celebrates and supports the permanent collection of African American art at the University Museum at Texas Southern University. Conceived originally as a fund-raiser for the restoration of the university’s 128 murals, the competition has grown into a major fashion event with entries from around the country judged by renown industry leaders.
Photos/Assistance by Raquel Fatuik