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Jae Jarrell

Jae Jarrell (born and lives in Cleveland, OH, USA) is known for her fashion design and influential role within the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s. She co-founded AFRICOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists), whose goal was to understand and express the visual principals that define black culture. Jarrell’s ground-breaking wearable artworks interpret the core ideas of the group, ideas that she has developed into abstract, idiosyncratic methods of translating black positivity into fashion objects.

Works

Jae Jarrell at AGYU

Location: Art Gallery of York University (AGYU)

Disrupting the boundaries between sculpture and fashion, Jarrell’s wearable artworks merge Black liberation politics with art and design. In 1969, she made what eventually became one of her best known works: Revolutionary Suit. Constructed of grey tweed, the suit featured a bright yellow suede bandolier (bullet belt), its slots filled…

Jae Jarrell at 259 Lake Shore Blvd E

Location: 259 Lake Shore Blvd East

Disrupting the hierarchy between art and fashion, Jarrell’s wearable artworks merge Black liberation politics and art. After producing her debut collection in 1963, Jarrell went on to co-found the influential art collective AFRICOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists) in 1968. Her best known works include Revolutionary Suit (1969)—a garment…

Programs

Artist Talk with Jae Jarrell

Location: Art Gallery of York University (AGYU)

Artist and AFRICOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists) co-founder Jae Jarrell discusses her wearable artworks and sculptures, which embody the future-facing strengths and struggles of Chicago’s vital Black Arts Movement. Image Credit: Jae Jarell, “Dahomey Ensemble,” 1973/2018, suede, appliqued leather, and woven leather, variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist and…

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