Jae Jarrell

2019 Program & Exhibition Artist

Jae Jarrell (born in 1935, Cleveland, USA) is a sculptor, painter and fashion designer. Jae became involved in the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC) in the mid-1960sin her boutique on the south side of Chicago, which created the Wall of Respect mural in 1967. With her husband Wadsworth Jarrell, Jae opened a small gallery below their home and studio, which hosted live jazz, exhibitions, and many early meetings of the Black artist collective later known as AFRICOBRA. Jae created groundbreaking wearable artworks that interpreted the ideas of the group, as well as developed methods of translating Black positivity into fashion.


Jae Jarrell at 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 with brightly coloured wooden pegs […]



Jae Jarrell at 259 Lake Shore Blvd E

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 for protest and revolution—and Urban […]

date and time

September 21 – December 1, 2019


Artist Talk with Jae Jarrell

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 Kavi Gupta.


Art Gallery of York University (AGYU)