Wearable Art competition pays tribute to Kermit Oliver
TSU NEWS

Wearable Art competition pays tribute to iconic TSU artist and alumnus Kermit Oliver

The University Museum at Texas Southern University combined art and fashion June 10 at the Omni Houston Hotel during its biennial For The Sake of Art gala and runway show. TSU alumnus and iconic Texas artist Kermit Oliver and Dallas art collector Shelby Marcus were honored as part of the evening’s festivities.

For The Sake of Art, developed by University Museum Director Dr.Alvia Wardlaw, gives fashion designers the opportunity to create wearable art designs for a juried competition. This year’s offerings were based on some of Oliver’s most memorable paintings.

Deanna Santiago won the competition with a paper dress of Bible verses topped with a transparent swing coat of pressed flowers. Nevelyn Williams took second place for a colorful skirt and blouse made with a pressed technique. Andrea Giralt Brun came in third place with a striking blue and yellow yarn-threaded skirt, sleeveless blouse, cape and matching purse. The award for Most Creative Design was given to Shirlette Thompson, who created a mini-dress of orange peels. Carol Watson received the People's Choice award for a colorful, reversible kimono ensemble. The People’s Choice honor was determined by gala audience members voting via text at the gala.

Merele Yarborough served as gala chair with honorary chairs Ada Anderson, Robert Chavez, Tina Knowles-Lawson and Reginald Van Lee. Designers Kevan Hall and Cesar Galindo, along with artist Michelle Barnes, fashion blogger Beth Muecke, and Culture Map Houston Editor-in-ChiefClifford Pugh served as judges for the wearable art competition.

Oliver, who majored in art and studied with Dr. John Biggers and Professor Carroll Harris Simms and  created a number of murals for Hannah Hall, holds the distinction as the only American artist create scarf designs for the French fashion house Hermès.  

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