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Meet Shevaré Perry

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shevaré Perry.

Shevaré, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a kid, I was always into art and fashion, and my parents allowed and encouraged me to express myself artistically. At a young age, I started sewing and knew that I wanted to be a fashion designer. Fast-forward to high school graduation, I was headed to Philadelphia to attend Philadelphia University to study fashion design.

While in Philadelphia, I felt so at home. This was during the neo-soul movement. I was determined to explore as much as possible; it was all very new to me, a total adventure. While in Philadelphia, my friend wanted to study abroad in London. At first, I didn’t want to go, I was totally emerged in Philadelphia, but I went. And loved it! It was a new place to explore, so many cultures, high fashion, and a different approach to the creative process.

After undergrad, I returned to London for graduate school. At this point, I knew I didn’t want to be a fashion designer. I thought a fashion business role would be better suited for me. Apparently, those roles weren’t a good fit either. I reluctantly returned to St. Louis to regroup and figure out what I should be doing. I felt that I had gone too far and done too much to end up back in the Midwest.

I moved to New York for the summer to find my dream fashion job, which didn’t go as planned at all. But I did find out some very important things about myself. I enjoy being in control of my time and what I do with it. I don’t like working for other people.

When I returned to St. Louis, I wasn’t sure what type of career or job I could have that would fulfill that criteria. I came across an adjunct fashion faculty position and applied. Who would’ve thought I would be a Fashion Marketing/Design instructor and a curriculum designer. Since I’ve started teaching, I’ve also created an online fashion curriculum, The Real Fashion Experience, for highschool students.

While teaching fashion, I started to explore my creative side more with a focus on concept development. Fast forward to June 2018, I was presented with the opportunity to participate in an exhibition, Oh You Fancy! At The Charles Wright Museum. The exhibition’s goal was to show and celebrate the evolution of African American hair, beauty standards, the impact on the hair and fashion industry and open the conversation regarding political and social consciousness. This is when The Adventures of Wynk was born and re-energized my love for art. The Adventures of Wynk has led to:
Multiple professional development programs for artists
Working with youth artists, hosting workshops
Presentations and talks at multiple museums

Now, I am continuously developing The Adventures of Wynk and working on my solo exhibition, Moments of Freedom. Moments of Freedom is a compilation of spoken word, mixed media collage, and digital art that captures the brief periods of time that freedom is experienced while being reminded that it is indeed a moment of freedom. I plan to expand Moments of Freedom to a virtual exhibition and traveling exhibition.

Has it been a smooth road?
My journey has definitely not been a direct path; I would say it’s been relatively smooth. The bumps and challenges that were hardest were the constant nos, “we’ve decided to move forward with other candidates,” “you’re too creative for this role.”

Also, realizing that happiness isn’t in a location or specific city, it’s within and enjoying the work that I do. Yes, I’m in St. Louis, but I am doing all of the things I like to do, making an impact, and have the flexibility to travel as I’d like (pre-covid19).

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Shevaré the Fashion Educator and Shevaré The Artist.

As the fashion educator, I’ve developed The Real Fashion Experience online project-based fashion curriculum. I specialize in relevant and modern approaches to fashion education that reflect the fashion industry and post-high school expectations. As a company, I am most proud of being able to interact with high school fashion students at annual conferences. What sets me apart from others is my fashion journey and story, from studying fashion, working in fashion, to teaching fashion.

As Shevaré The Artist, I create mixed media collage art and digital art accompanied with poetic storytelling. I am known for The Adventures of Wynk and my upcoming exhibition Moments of Freedom. I am most grateful for the artist support and network that I have in St. Louis. The ability to develop a strong concept and approach to telling history while highlighting injustice is what has set me apart.

The Adventures of Wynk is a poetic journey through time, and story of Wynk’s self-discovery, through encounters with women icons who overcome racial and social injustice. The Adventures of Wynk has been used in schools to open the dialogue surrounding racism and injustice. I am most proud of the work youth artists have created from The Adventures of Wynk workshops.

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