Feb 26, 2017, 2PM

Coffee and Conversation: Jae Jarrell’s garments of collective resistance with Lauren Altman


Jae Jarrell install

Jae Jarrell, Brothers Surrounding Sis, 1970. Suede suit and acrylic paint, 35 x 13 in. Installation view, The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania. Photo: Constance Mensh.

Enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee and join Lauren Altman, PennDesign MFA candidate, in a conversation exploring the potentials of garment-making as method to address and represent collective social justice issues in the work of Jae Jarrell.

The discussion focuses on the works Brothers Surrounding Sis (1970) and Gent’s Great Coat (1973), on view in ICA’s presentation of The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now.

As a leading female member of the AfriCOBRA artist collective, Jarrell became recognized for constructing garments that incorporate painted motifs and design elements from black radical history and culture. In the first piece, portraits of black men interlinking arms are painted around the skirt of the two-piece suede garment, commenting on the collective efforts of women and men in the African American struggle for equal rights. The second garment, Gent’s Great Coat, incorporates motifs present in a variety of traditions in African clothing design that became iconic of black radical culture in that period.

During this conversation, Altman will discuss how craft and clothing commemorate cultural heritage and identity, and symbolize collectivity and community in times of socio-political upheaval. Altman will also consider the ways in which these works signify the joined forces of feminist and civil rights movements in that era. How can art and craft bring us together to address all people’s Freedom Principles, as the subject of this exhibition suggests, today?

This event is free and open to the public; register here. Altman will lead a tour of The Freedom Principle at 12PM, followed by the conversation at 2PM.