PaperCity Magazine

March 2017 - Houston

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36 KERMIT'S CANVASES A TEXAS ARTIST OF THE YEAR INSPIRES THE RUNWAY; TSU UNIVERSITY MUSEUM IS FÊTED. Catherine D. Anspon covers the scene. Photography Kim Coffman. T he big black-tie night For The Sake of Art capped a year of planning that reimagined the biennial fashion- meets-art benefit for Texas Southern University's University Museum. Gone were the less formal university venue and cock- tail attire. The gala evening moved to the Omni Houston Hotel, where ball gowns and tuxes ruled (alongside artful chic). But chair Merele Yarborough's most impor- tant change was honoring TSU alum artist Kermit Oliver, a graduate of the class of 1967, and a student of the late Dr. John Biggers. The Waco- based painter has gone on to great renown (in- cluding Texas Artist of the Year honors and being tapped by Hermès as the only American talent to design scarves for its international fashion brand). Honoring the incredibly modest and private Oliver — who sent his daughter Kristy Oliver-Pullings and brother Karl Oliver to accept his accolade — meant taking his sensitive realist paintings as the point of inspiration for the designers whose looks walked the runway. Also saluted was Shelby Marcus, in from Dallas. An early champion of Oliver, she introduced him to her future husband, the iconic Lawrence Marcus, thus facilitating the Hermès connection via Neiman Marcus. Presiding alongside Yarborough was museum director/art historian Dr. Alvia Wardlaw, who de- veloped the wearable-art-competition concept, and honorary chairs Tina Knowles-Lawson (designer and mom to Beyoncé) and patron and nonprofit power broker Reginald Van Lee. The evening's additional honorary chairs, Civil Rights activist and philanthropist Ada Anderson and Hermès' U.S. President and CEO Robert Chavez, were un- able to travel to town, but there in spirit. Deanna Santiago's ensemble, complete with an ethereal swing coat, captured first place. Honorary chair Tina Knowles-Lawson A design by Deanna Santiago captured first place. Judges circle: Cesar Galindo, Beth Muecke, Clifford Pugh Michelle Barnes, Kevan Hall Joy Sewing, Ernie Manouse Loren & Austin Lane Chair Merele Yarborough Alvia Wardlaw Jacqueline & Leon Kinloch Chelsea & Jason Pinnix Doug & Winell Herron Javania White, Maica Walker Andrea Bonner Honorary chair Reginald Van Lee Honoree Shelby Marcus Alex Martinez, Darian Ward John Guess Jr. & Melanie Lawson

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