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)
8 Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele Street
Toronto ON
M3J 1P3

September 23


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.