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“Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love” Closing Celebration \ Ballroom Culture with Rashaad Newsome

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models wearing Patrick Kelly's designs

Patrick Kelly Collection. Photograph by Oliviero Toscani. Courtesy of the Estate of Patrick Kelly. Scan by Randy Dodson / Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Koret Auditorium

Join us for a conversation with Natasha Becker, curator of African art at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and interdisciplinary artist Rashaad Newsome. They will explore the influence, impact, and legacies of ballroom culture in Harlem and New York City and artists who, like Patrick Kelly, were inspired by it.

Can’t join us in person?

Watch the livestream on YouTube

About the Speakers

Natasha Becker, born and raised in South Africa, joined the Museums in December 2020. Working in Cape Town, South Africa and New York City, over the past decade, she has focused on presenting the work of African artists, African American artists, and artists of the African diaspora, organizing numerous exhibitions and international initiatives. She worked at the Clark Institute for seven years as the assistant director for Mellon Initiatives and, more recently, as co-curator at the new Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice Art Gallery. She has also served as a curatorial adviser at the Face Foundation, curator in residence at Faction Art Projects in Harlem, and senior curator at the Goodman Gallery in South Africa. Natasha is one of the cofounders of Assembly Room, a curatorial platform for the advancement of women curators and artists in New York. She holds a master’s in African history from the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa, and studied art history at Binghamton University, New York.

Rashaad Newsome’s work blends several practices, including collage, sculpture, film, photography, music, computer programming, software engineering, community organizing, and performance, to create an altogether new field. Using the diasporic traditions of improvisation, he pulls from the world of advertising, the internet, art history, and Black and Queer culture, to produce work that challenges the status quo and that walks the tightrope between social practice, abstraction, and intersectionality. Collage acts as a conceptual and technical method to construct a new cultural framework of power that does not find the oppression of others necessary. Newsome’s work celebrates Black contributions to the art canon and creates innovative and inclusive forms of culture and media. Learn more about Rashaad Newsome.

About the Exhibition

Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love celebrates the career and legacy of Black fashion designer Patrick Kelly (1954–1990). First presented by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2014, the exhibition presents seventy-nine fully accessorized ensembles, dating from 1984 to 1990, from the Philadelphia Museum’s archive of Kelly’s work, to new acquisitions from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s costume collection. Kelly drew upon his childhood in the United States South, his African American heritage, his experiences in the club and gay cultural scenes in New York and Paris, and muses from fashion, art, and Black history to create light-hearted yet sophisticated designs that pushed racial and cultural boundaries. The exhibition situates Kelly and his work in the broader context of art and fashion history by exploring the inspirations behind his designs, his significant collection of racist memorabilia (whose images he wrested to tell his own story), and footage from his exuberant and groundbreaking fashion shows.

COVID-19 Guidance 

Masking is strongly recommended, but no longer required for members of the public or employees while in the museum.

Ticket Information

Seating is limited and unassigned. Tickets are distributed on a first-come first-served basis an hour before the lecture begins in front of the Koret Auditorium. This does not include admission to the exhibition. Free exhibition tickets will be available on-site. 


Contact Information

Public Programs
publicprograms@famsf.org
(415) 750-7694