Celebrating ten years of art walking the runway
By Sarah Carter Levitch
Photo by Andrea Hutchinson
Ten years ago, an orange runway lined the second floor of KMAC Museum, and everyone dressed in white eagerly awaited the debut of KMAC Couture: Art Walks the Runway. With the help of local creatives Janice Carter Levitch Humphrey, Charity Ghali, Elizabeth Lococo, Guy Tedesco and Kris Thompson, or “The Fab Five,” KMAC Couture runway show hit the ground running. Janice noted, “The fab five and many others came together, and the first show was a tremendous success. KMAC Couture was well on its way to becoming an annual show, and it continues to grow and offer a platform for artists to showcase their talents. To all the artists out there, keep creating! What you do is remarkable and important. VOICE Louisville is once again proud to be the exclusive media sponsor for KMAC Couture.”
Co-Chair for KMAC Couture 2022 Lee Middendorf remembered how she “was awestruck by the amazing creativity of the artists and the incredible vision it took to put on an event like that in Louisville. I’d never seen anything quite like it, and it still stands alone on the Louisville charitable landscape.”
Seeing the overwhelming response from the community prompted KMAC Museum to move the runway show out onto Main Street in 2014 to seat more people and pay homage to the traditional fashion week runway shows held in tents. Christopher Welsh, a co-chair for the upcoming KMAC Couture 2022 10th Anniversary Show, reflected on the show’s growth: “We’re seating 850 people now, and by the time we add the artists, models, hairdressers, photographers, etc., we easily have 1,000 people on that night. It’s been amazing to watch it grow. We have people submitting from other parts of the country, and we’re sending out submission packets to universities across the country. We even had an artist from overseas.”
As the biggest fundraising event for KMAC Museum, KMAC Couture brings together a unique community. Kris Thompson, a committee member and artist of KMAC Couture, noted that “we rely on our generous sponsors each year to put on the event, including Blue Grass MOTORSPORT, Audi Louisville, Churchill Downs, Hermitage Farm and Brown Forman. Being involved with KMAC Museum is like being a part of a big family. The proceeds from KMAC Couture help to fund our exciting exhibitions and education programs. We couldn’t put on this event without our community of Louisville artists, sponsors, museum-goers and supporters. KMAC Couture brings folks together in a celebration of artistry, diversity and community.”
Curator and Curatorial Director at KMAC Museum Joey Yates added that “over the years, we’ve been able to add more and more pedigree and fanfare. We’ve turned it into something that people of all generations can enjoy, from high school students to retirees. It’s rare for one fundraising art program to get that many people to participate.”
After two years of doing KMAC Couture as a movie, the fundraising event will return as a live runway show in 2022 (fingers-crossed), celebrating their 10th year with an anniversary theme. Yates selected the theme, commenting how “there are so many things people celebrate every year, whether that’s personal or universal. It can be anything from a religious holiday to a wedding anniversary. I thought the anniversary theme was a nice way to remind people that we are here on a significant anniversary for the event while also having them participate in that in a more personal way.”
KMAC Couture 2022 will be held on April 16 with a pre-show cocktail hour at 7 p.m., the runway show at 8:30 p.m., and an after-party immediately following. Artist’s submissions are open until Dec. 4, 2021. For more information, visit kmacmuseum.org/kmac-couture-submissions.
KMAC Couture 2022
7 p.m. April 16
Downtown Main St.