Wearable Art

TSU University Museum gala showcases wearable art and honors iconic Texas artist

TSU University Museum gala features wearable art, honors Texas artist

For The Sake of Art, Merele Yarborough, Alvia Wardlaw, Tina Knowles-Lawson
Merele Yarborough, Alvia Wardlaw, Tina Knowles-Lawson. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
For The Sake of Art, Shirlette Thompson, orange peel dress
Designer Shirlette Thompson, left, celebrates her win as Most Creative Design with an orange peel dress. Photo by Jay Marroquin
For The Sake of Art, Lonnie McBride, Yolanda Adams
Lonnie McBride, Yolanda Adams. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
For the Sake of Art, Carol Watson, kimono
Carol Watson, right, was the People's Choice designer with a kimono ensemble. Photo by Jay Marroquin
For The Sake of Art, Kevan Hall, Laura Clemmons, Dr. John Clemmons
Kevan Hall, Lora Clemmons, Dr. John Clemmons. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
For the Sake of Art, Yvonne Cormier, Rufus Cormier
Yvonne Cormier, Rufus Cormier. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
For the Sake of Art, Deanne Santiago winner
Deanne Santiago, right, is surprised to learn that her creation has been declared the winner by the judges. Photo by Jay Marroquin
For The Sake of Art, Jimmy Stroope, Janie Le Vieux, Shelby Marcus, Hattie Browning, Lisa Browning
Jimmy Stroope, Janie Le Vieux, Shelby Marcus, Hattie Browning, Lisa Browning.   © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
For the Sake of Art, Matt Probus, Joi Maria Probus
Matt Probus, Joi Maria Probus. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
For The Sake of Art, Nevelyn Williams, yarn dress
Nevelyn Williams, right, took second place with a dress using a innovative yarn technique. Photo by Jay Marroquin
Andy Maron, Melanie Lawson at For The Sake of Art
Andy Maron, Melanie Lawson. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
For The Sake of Art, Andrea Giralt Brun yarn dress
Andrea Giralt Brun, left, took third place with this design. Photo by Jay Marroquin
Doug Herndon, Winelle Herron For The Sake of Art
Doug and Winelle Herron. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Candice Hearn, Damon Hearn, Erica Littlejohn Burnette at For The Sake of Art
Candice Hearn, Damon Hearn, Erica Littlejohn Burnett. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Ryan Hazard, Laura Bonner at For The Sake of Art
Ryan Hazard, Laura Bonner. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
For The Sake of Art, Jacqueline Kinloch, Leon Kinloch
Jacqueline and Leon Kinloch. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Jason Pinnix, Chelsea Pinnix at For The Sake of Art
Jason and Chelsea Pinnix. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
For The Sake of Art, Roz Pactor, Alan Pactor
Roz Pactor, Alan Pactor. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
For The Sake of Art judges Michelle Barnes, Cesar Galindo, Kevan Hall, Clifford Pugh, Beth Muenke
Judges Michelle Barnes, Cesar Galindo, Kevan Hall, Clifford Pugh, Beth Muecke. Photo by Jay Marroquin
Jeremy Garcia, Meaghan Isensee, Brian McCulloch, For The Sake of Art
Jeremy Garcia, Meaghan Isensee, Brian McCullough, © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
For The Sake of Art, Merele Yarborough, Shelly Marcus, Alvia Wardlaw
Merele Yarborough, Shelby Marcus, Alvia Wardlaw. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
For The Sake of Art, wearable art models
The 10 finalists in the wearable art competition. Photo by Jay Marroquin
For The Sake of Art, Merele Yarborough, Alvia Wardlaw, Tina Knowles-Lawson
For The Sake of Art, Shirlette Thompson, orange peel dress
For The Sake of Art, Lonnie McBride, Yolanda Adams
For the Sake of Art, Carol Watson, kimono
For The Sake of Art, Kevan Hall, Laura Clemmons, Dr. John Clemmons
For the Sake of Art, Yvonne Cormier, Rufus Cormier
For the Sake of Art, Deanne Santiago winner
For The Sake of Art, Jimmy Stroope, Janie Le Vieux, Shelby Marcus, Hattie Browning, Lisa Browning
For the Sake of Art, Matt Probus, Joi Maria Probus
For The Sake of Art, Nevelyn Williams, yarn dress
Andy Maron, Melanie Lawson at For The Sake of Art
For The Sake of Art, Andrea Giralt Brun yarn dress
Doug Herndon, Winelle Herron For The Sake of Art
Candice Hearn, Damon Hearn, Erica Littlejohn Burnette at For The Sake of Art
Ryan Hazard, Laura Bonner at For The Sake of Art
For The Sake of Art, Jacqueline Kinloch, Leon Kinloch
Jason Pinnix, Chelsea Pinnix at For The Sake of Art
For The Sake of Art, Roz Pactor, Alan Pactor
For The Sake of Art judges Michelle Barnes, Cesar Galindo, Kevan Hall, Clifford Pugh, Beth Muenke
Jeremy Garcia, Meaghan Isensee, Brian McCulloch, For The Sake of Art
For The Sake of Art, Merele Yarborough, Shelly Marcus, Alvia Wardlaw
For The Sake of Art, wearable art models

Art intersected with fashion in a big way at the For The Sake of Art gala and runway show at the Omni Hotel Friday night. The biennial fundraiser for The University Museum at Texas Southern University honored iconic Texas artist Kermit Oliver, a TSU grad whose work is a campus highlight, and avid Dallas art collector Shelby Marcus, who has championed Oliver's career.

It also provided an opportunity for creative designers to whip up wearable art based on Oliver paintings. The 10 finalists, selected by a panel of judges, thrilled the crowd with a runway presentation that showcased unique and innovative looks of wearable art.

First place went to Deanna Santiago, who created a pink paper dress of Bible verses topped with a see-through coat of pressed flowers. Nevelyn Williams, who by day is a security guard at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, took second place for a colorful skirt and blouse made with a pressed technique that was so beautiful it moved celebrity judge, designer Kevan Hall, to tears. (Other judges were designer Cesar Galindo, artist Michelle Barnes, fashion blogger Beth Muecke, and yours truly.)

Third place went to Andrea Giralt Brun, with a striking blue-and-yellow yarn-threaded skirt, sleeveless blouse, cape and matching purse. Most Creative Design went to Shirlette Thompson, who created a mini-dress of orange peels, while crowd favorite Carol Watson won the People's Choice award, based on audience texts, for a colorful reversible kimono ensemble.

Gala chair Merele Yarborough and University Museum director Alvia Wardlaw were thrilled that the evening raked in more than $200,000, a record for the event. The well-dressed crowd, who were asked to dress in "artful black tie," lingered around the silent auction items, including two packages of tickets to Beyoncé's September concert at NRG Stadium, donated by her mother Tina Knowles-Lawson, one of the evening's honorary chairs.

"All I can say is we've come a long way baby," Knowles-Lawson told the crowd, referring to the wearable art event, where she previously served as judge. "The creativity is unbelievable. Being a designer, I can appreciate how you can take hardly anything and turn it into something magnificent. That's what these people have done."

Oliver, who is known to be extremely shy, was a no-show as his award was accepted by his daughter, Kristi Oliver Pullings, and brother Karl Oliver. But Marcus was quick to sing his praises. She noted how her now-deceased husband, Lawrence Marcus, had recommended Oliver to officials at Hermès, where he remains the only American artist to create scarf designs for the French fashion house. (Oliver and Marcus attended an intimate dinner at the Hermès River Oaks store Thursday night as part of the celebration.)

"Lawrence saw in Kermit the things I had always seen," Marcus said. "I love Kermit Oliver's work."

In tribute to Oliver and Marcus, the Sacred Ensemble, featuring soprano Shana Mashego, performed a moving musical tribute, "What Wondrous Love Is This," based on the Oliver work, The Resurrection.

Also seen in the crowd were Dr. John and Lora Clemmons, Percy and Cheryl Creuzot, new Texas Southern University president Austin Lane and wife Loren, Hallie Vanderhider, Gayla Gardner, Yolanda Adams, in a beautiful blue gown designed by Hall, emcees Ernie Manouse and Joy Sewing, Winell and Doug Herron, Shelby Hodge and Shafik Rifaat, Roz and Alan Pactor, and Houston businessman Reginald Van Lee, an honorary chair whose foundation was a presenting sponsor of the evening, along with H-E-B. Van Lee, who spoke briefly to the crowd, had the best quip of the night as he promised a short speech.

"As Kim Kardashian told her first husband, this will not take long," he said.

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