In February 2018, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Tennessee is bringing the Fowler Museum’s exhibition African-Print Fashion Now! to the South. Visitors will be introduced to the dynamic traditions of African dress featuring colorful, boldly patterned printed cloth, through an inspiring and mesmerizing traveling exhibition. To celebrate the opening of their newest exhibition, we’ve partnered with the Brooks for January’s African Art design challenge and today, we’re so pleased to welcome Karen Davis, Communications Manager at Brooks to share more about the upcoming exhibition to inspire your design challenge entry.
African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization and Style
The exhibition includes 60 tailored fashions, 100 archival and contemporary cloths, 20 black-and-white studio portrait photographs from the 1960s and 1970s, a series of runway videos, and seven works by contemporary visual artists. Ensembles on view draw from the Fowler Museum at UCLA’s collections, private loans, and the extensive archives of the Dutch textile manufacturing company Vlisco.
The exhibition highlights the interplay between regional preferences and cosmopolitanism that has long flourished on the continent, while highlighting the expansiveness of 21st-century African-print fashion. From formal portraiture to visual arts to ubiquitous African fashion calendars to street style photos shared by cellphone, it is clear that representations of fashion have always been a nuanced form of communication.
Fashion subtly communicates about place, heritage, and belonging through such means as appropriation, pastiche, and revival. Throughout the exhibition, African-print fashions are considered to be creative responses to key historical moments and empowering projections about Africa’s future.
As a world art museum, the Brooks is proud to feature these works that demonstrate the vital role that African-print has played in the expression of beauty, fashion, and heritage, while creating transcultural connections across Africa and into the larger world.” Emily Ballew Neff, Ph.D. Executive Director, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
One of the museum’s goals for the exhibition, African-Print Fashion Now!, is to recognize that Africa has a thriving contemporary art scene, with fashion and fabric design being a vital part of it. Through the partnership with Spoonflower, the Brooks wants designers around the world to discover the creative process of crafting African-print cloth through color, design, and fabric.
African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization, and Style will be on exhibit February 24 – August 12, 2018 at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Tennessee. Planning to make a visit to the exhibition? Let us know in the comments below!
One grand prize winner selected from the popularly voted top 25 by the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art will receive $200 in Spoondollars and a $500 cash prize. The winning design will be featured at the February 23 African-Print Fashion Now! member opening event, during a Community Day celebrating the exhibition in June and will be on exhibit at the Brooks from June 15 – August 12, 2018. The winner will also receive an invitation to the June 15 museum celebration and additional exposure in our email newsletters, professional photography of their printed designs, and social media mentions.
The 2nd place winner will receive $100 in Spoondollars.
The 3rd place winner will receive $50 in Spoondollars.
The rest of the top 10
4th through 10th place winners will receive a $20 Spoondollar credit.
All of the top 25
Each of the top 25 entries, determined as set forth above, not receiving one of the foregoing prizes will be automatically proofed for sale in the Spoonflower Marketplace (approximately a $5 value) (the “Runner Up Prize”) if winners are verified sellers.