The 2016 For the Sake of Art Gala is the fifth in a series of biennial wearable art competitions that celebrates the vibrant talent of emerging artists and designers. Originally conceived as a fundraiser to support the restoration of the Texas Southern University’s 128 murals, the competition has grown to feature works from art alumni from the 1950’s through the 21st century.
Each participating designer selects a featured work of art which serves as inspiration and creates a garment based upon the chosen work. Designers are encouraged to be as creative and as imaginative as possible. In past competitions, murals, sculpture, ceramics, paintings, mosaics and drawings have all been used to create exciting wearable art.
Judges select the winners based upon criteria such as the overall design, the construction of the garment, and imaginative use of materials. Past judges for the competition have included Elizabeth Anyaa, Danielle Burns, Lora Clemmons, Chloe Dao, Cesar Galindo, Tina Knowles, Anita Smith, and Jeffrey Williams. This competition attracts designers throughout the country with finalists submitting designs from Dallas, North Carolina, New York as well as Houston. Prior to the runway presentation, finalists have the opportunity to receive valuable advice and constructive critiques from the judges.
A Special Tribute for 2016
In 2016 For The Sake of Art will honor the legacy of artist Kermit Oliver, a Texas Southern art graduate who has achieved worldwide acclaim in the art world. As the only American artist who designs for Hermès, Oliver has created sixteen scarf designs for Hermès which have become collector's items for women throughout the world. Oliver's long term association with the renowed fashion house began with a commission from Neiman Marcus to create a scarf for Hermès, in commemoration of the Texas Bicentennial. Oliver was honored with a retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2005, and he will be featured in the inaugural exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, opening in the fall of 2016. Designers and artists entering For the Sake of Art 2016 competition will base their wearable art design on a work of art by Kermit Oliver.
FSOA 2016 Leadership
For the Sake of Art 2016 is being chaired by Houston Fashion icon, philanthropist and champion of non profit organizations Merele Yarborough. Houston designer Toni Whitaker serves as competition advisor and the competition coordinator is fashion and marketing expert Andrea Bonner.
Photography by Jay Marroquin & Earlie Hudnall, Jr