Iris Van Herpen's Exhibit Diversifies The High Museum

The Iris Van Herpen exhibition, featuring some of the designer’s arresting couture, 3-D art, opened to the public this past Friday without disappointment. In between studying the displays, taking in runway videos, and reading background details on the collections, there were moments of pure bliss. I was in a space that sparks inspiration, where everyone is beautiful and confident in their presence. It was one of the best social experiences. Familiar faces of Atlanta’s Black creatives and fashion enthusiasts mingled in awe of the designers work.

The High Museum of Art is one of the city’s most popular attractions, yet it has a reputation of not appealing to diverse crowds. But on this night, Black Atlanta came out with their unbotheredness in tow. Yes, people of color go to places like this all the time. However, the vibe was more inclusive, with an aura of familiarity and camaraderie engulfing every room. The DJ spun tunes that spoke directly to the youthful vibe. Seeing so many young people of color infiltrate an establishment/event that could easily be whitewashed left me feeling proud. What I mean by infiltrate is that for quite some time there has been an unspoken – possibly, unintended – division between people of color and those who are not. Institutions that cater to the arts have a tendency to outcast diverse art buffs. That wasn’t the case Friday night.

As for the presentation itself, Van Herpen is an artist in the truest sense. Turning phenomenons such as "Synesthesia" - a neurological condition that asserts that "some people can taste colors and see sound" - into visual, tangible works of art makes us all privy to the depth of her creative mind. If you are in Atlanta, it's a must that you visit the High to see this exhibition. Check out the slides above for a glimpse of what to expect and when I say glimpse I mean it. There are multiple floors with pieces, videos, and more to view.