It’s hard to miss the big LED screen inside Nordstrom at Columbus Circle, featuring a video by artist Dianne Smith.
It pays tribute to Black women, both famous and unsung, who shape and redefine what it means to be stylish.
The Bronx native dedicated it to her mother, a one-time fit model for a fashion house, who emigrated from Belize in Central America.
“I started thinking about culture and style from the Black perspective, really thinking about African-Americans and Black people in general being the archetype of culture of style,” said Smith, who added she looked at the women in Black families as the archetype of culture and style within the family structure.
Smith’s video is among the numerous works that are part of the exhibition “Styling: Black Expression, Rebellion and Joy through Fashion.”
It’s the first-full scale art exhibition at the retailer’s New York City flagship store, which just opened last October. It’s a collaboration with Long Gallery Harlem, curated by Souleo, who said the installation is reflective of the times.
“That’s why we have works in the show that talk about not just the beauty of fashion, but that also touch on important themes such as the Black Lives Matter Movement,” said Souleo, who noted they wanted to economically empower the artists involved while also giving them visibility.
Artists received honorariums to participate, plus proceeds are being donated to the galleries at Howard University in Washington D.C.
As you wander through the store, you will also see a pop-up shop, which features items from various artists who are part of the exhibition.
There’s all different types of art on display around the store. Souleo said he has been pleased with the response so far.
“Everyone, they see a representation of themselves within the work, and I think that’s important, that’s what art can do,” said Souleo.
The exhibition is on display at Nordstrom Columbus Circle through October 29.