Art Surrounds Me: Patrick Kelly-The Journey


The Art Surrounds Me series continues with a review of an art opening for an exhibit dedicated to the late designer, Patrick Kelly.

I popped into the art opening for the exhibit, Patrick Kelly: The Journey at the Countee Cullen Library curated by Derrick Johnson and hosted by the Studio Museum of Harlem, the exhibit is a tribute to the late designer, Patrick Kelly, an African American and LGTBQ iconic designer who reached the height of fame and success in the 1980’s.

The exhibit was a combination of actual works from the Patrick Kelly fashion collection and press clippings and videos about him. There were actual swatches of clothing from his fashion collection and designs as well as artwork inspired by him. Artists used his love for prints and patterns and motifs associated with the black experience to create original works that included animal prints, slices of watermelon and bananas (a la Josephine Baker).

This was a unique exhibit and fitting tribute to a fashion legend that was well attended. Thelma Golden, curator of the Studio Museum of Harlem was present as well as some of contemporary and up-and-coming artists of color.

It’s always great when we honor those that came before us and truly paved the way. These days it is not a rarity to have a mainstream African American designer, but I recall the days when it was rare. Patrick Kelly kicked open a door for my generation and those after us. May he never be forgotten.

I’ve posted some pictures below.