Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture Comes to LouisvilleKY’s Speed Art Museum

speed sneakers

 

The sneaker and how it has influenced culture, fashion and art

Photos from www.speedmuseum.org

LOUISVILLE, KY (August 31, 2016) – The Speed Art Museum is excited to jump ‘Out of the Box’ for the highly-anticipated launch of its first special exhibition since reopening, Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture.  Originating at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, the national traveling exhibition, organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Bata Shoe Museum, is the first museum exhibition in the United States to look at the interesting and complex social history and design evolution of the sneaker – from its functional design in the mid-19th century to its stronghold in social and urban culture today.  Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture will open at the Speed Art Museum September 10 and run through November 27, 2016.

speed sneakers

From its origins in the recreational pastimes of the elite, to the increasing importance of physical fitness, to its role in athletic performance and urban style, the sneaker has been a pivotal component of dress for more than 150 years.  Out of the Box includes over 150 sneakers, plus film footage, photographic images and design drawings that richly illustrate the social history, technical innovation, fashion trends and marketing campaigns that have shaped contemporary sneaker culture. Featuring iconic shoes from the 1830s to today, many of the designs in Out of the Box have rarely, if ever, been exhibited publicly.

“This is a major highlight for both the Speed, and the city of Louisville,” said Ghislain d’Humieres, CEO of the Speed Art Museum. “This exhibition truly does step outside of what people normally associate with an art museum, and we are thrilled to showcase this colorful, fun look at fashion, art and culture.  It is not just an exhibition; it is an event.”

speed sneakers

Among the highlights are an 1860s spiked running shoe, a 1923 Converse All Star/Non Skid, a pair of 1936 track shoes, the original Nike Air Force 1, and early adidas Superstars. The exhibition also features contemporary sneaker collaborations with prominent figures such as Damien Hirst, Jeremy Scott, Jeff Staple and Kanye West. Contributors include a range of private collectors, museums and archives, including adidas, AG, Converse Archives, Kosow Sneaker Museum, Nike Archives, Northampton Museums and Art Gallery, and Reebok Archives.

The Speed’s exhibition will include exclusive additions, featuring sneaker collaborations with regional icons John Wall, Rajon Rondo, and shoes from the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky.

“We understand the legendary love Kentuckians have for sports in this state,” said Scott Erbes, Chief Curator, Speed Art Museum. “We want to have fun with this, as well, and draw in crowds who might not normally visit the Speed. We are including many events, special tours and some surprises along the way that will be a draw. There will truly be something for all ages.”

Visitors are encouraged to snap a “shoefie” at various locations, both at the Speed and throughout the community.  Special sidewalk graphics and “shoefie” stations will appear around Louisville, encouraging people to pose and snap a selfie with their sneakers that can be shared via social media at #Speedsneakers.  A wide variety of events, films and family activities will also focus on Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture.

“We want to give back to the community as well,” said d’Humieres. “Guests who bring in a pair of new or gently used sneakers will receive $1 off admission to Out of the Box, with the shoes being donated to WaterStep.” WaterStep translates the shoe donations into funding to help developing countries finance potable-drinking water projects.

The Speed exhibition is organized around six central themes: The Rubber Revolution of the 1820s to the 1920s chronicles the birth of the sneaker, advancements in rubber and the rise of sport culture;  Body Politics explores the democratization of sneakers as the pursuit of bodily perfection took on nationalistic tones between the 1920s and 1970s; Fitness and Fashion shows the relationship between celebrity and the status sneaker; Fresh Out of the Box explores the sneaker as a symbol of urban masculinity; Air Jordan I–XX3 chronicles the immense popularity and cultural significance of Air Jordans; and finally, Innovation and Design highlights some of the most influential designs in recent sneaker history, including the first cross-trainer.

The Speed, which reopened in March 2016, was closed for three years for a major $60 million renovation and expansion which doubles the square footage of the original museum and triples exhibition space. Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture will land in Speed’s spectacular new North Building. “The new Speed is a true hub of creativity where art from the around the world is available for all,” said d’Humieres. “The many additional events and activities around Out of the Box will engage all ages and bring a constant hum of activity to the Speed that will open our entire collection to all.”

 

Shoe and fashion-related items will be available for purchase in the Speed Museum Store, along with an extensive exhibition catalogue that will provide the first definitive history of sneaker culture by curator Elizabeth Semmelhack, of the Bata Shoe Museum. It also features contributions from 24 influential figures, including former Jordan Brand Footwear Design Director D’Wayne Edwards, NBA champion Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Beastie Boys member Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, U.S. Open tennis champion Stan Smith, creative designer Sophia Chang, Run DMC member Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, fashion designer Jeremy Scott, Details magazine Style Director Eugene Tong, footwear designer Christian Louboutin, founding creative director of Def Jam Records Cey Adams, and contemporary artist Tom Sachs.

Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Bata Shoe Museum. The exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Semmelhack, Senior Curator of the Bata Shoe Museum. Generous support for the national tour of the exhibition is provided by Macy’s. Local sponsorship is provided by Delta Dental of Kentucky and Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP.

A look at the new Speed Art Museum

The new 62,500 sq. ft. North Building is largely transparent and creates one of the finest experiential art museums in the country. It doubles the museum’s overall square footage and nearly triples the gallery space from the existing wing.

 

The expansion creates a new state-of-the-art space for larger special exhibitions, contemporary art galleries, a Kentucky gallery, a family education and welcome center, cinema, indoor/outdoor café, museum store, and a multifunctional Grand Hall for performances, lectures and entertaining. Additionally, the new Elizabeth P. and Frederick K. Cressman Art Park and public piazza features creative artworks created specifically for the Speed Museum, that engage University of Louisville students and museum visitors alike. The Art Park gives the thousands of students who walk past the Speed each day on the adjoining UofL Belknap Campus the ability to mingle with great art, creativity and architecture.

 

The total expansion effort encompasses approximately 220,000 sq. ft., including 79,600 sq. ft. of renovation, 75,000 sq. ft. of new construction, and 135,000 sq. ft. of landscape improvements.

Internationally renowned museum designer Kulapat Yantrasast of Los Angeles-based wHY created the design in association with K. Norman Berry Associates of Louisville. Louisville philanthropist Hattie Bishop Speed founded the Speed Art Museum in 1925 with a belief in the power of art to change people’s lives. The Speed’s first building was designed by Louisville-based architect Arthur Loomis and opened in 1927; new structures were added in 1957, 1972, 1983 and 1996.

 

Thanks to a gift of $1 million from the Brown-Forman Corporation, the Speed offers free Sunday admission until 2021. As a special traveling exhibition, admission to Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture, is $8 for the public, and $6 for Speed members, including Sunday visits.

 

About the Speed Art Museum

The Speed Art Museum is Kentucky’s largest art museum with a collection that spans 6,000 years of human creativity and brings art from around the world to all. An independent museum located on the campus of the University of Louisville, the Speed plays an important role in outreach initiatives, workshops, tours, events and art-related school programs.  For more information, visit www.speedmuseum.org.

 

About the American Federation of Arts

The American Federation of Arts is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally.  A nonprofit organization founded in 1909, the AFA is dedicated to enriching the public’s experience and understanding of the visual arts through organizing and touring art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishing exhibition catalogues featuring important scholarly research, and developing educational programs.  For more information, visit www.afaweb.org.

 

About the Bata Shoe Museum

The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada, is an internationally acclaimed museum that boasts a collection of more than 13,000 artifacts spanning 4,500 years of history and actively supports a mandate to collect, research, exhibit and publish on the cultural, historical and sociological value of footwear.  For more information, visit www.batashoemuseum.com.

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ADDITIONAL OUT OF THE BOX EVENTS

 

SOCIAL SPEED: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 6:00–9:00 PM

KICKIN’ IT AT THE SPEED

$15 GENERAL ADMISSION | $5 STUDENTS | FREE FOR SPEED MEMBERS

Alright… stop, collaborate, and listen. The Speed is back with a brand new exhibition! Wear your

favorite sneakers and check out the fly kicks in Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture. Bust a

move to DJ Z-Nyce and Eons D and the Space Campaign. See Louisville sneakerheads showcase

their top kicks, and unique ways to wear them, in a sneaker fashion show. And, transform your

shoes from lame to fresh at our funkifying sneaker bar.

 

 

MUSIC AND THE RISE OF SNEAKER CULTURE

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 12:00–5:00 PM

DJ OUTHERE

FREE WITH SPECIAL EXHIBITION ADMISSION: $6 MEMBERS | $8 GENERAL ADMISSION

Listen to DJ OutHere’s musical interpretation of sneaker culture as you explore the exhibition,

Out of the Box.

 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 12:00–5:00 PM

DJ VANE

FREE WITH SPECIAL EXHIBITION ADMISSION: $6 MEMBERS | $8 GENERAL ADMISSION

DJ Vane will create curated mixes inspired by the rise of sneaker culture.

 

 

SPEED CINEMA

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 7:00 PM

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 3:00 AND 7:00 PM

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 3:00 PM

FREE TO RUN DIRECTED BY PIERRE MORATH

$7 SPEED MEMBERS | $9 NON-MEMBERS

“A joyous and inspirational film.” —Edward Douglas, Film Journal International

Running, once an activity reserved uniquely for men and confined to stadiums with strict rules,

has changed considerably within the last fifty years. This documentary reveals the push for gender

diversity within the sport and the cultural shifts to democratize the sport internationally. Directed

by Pierre Morath. 2015, Belgium, DCP, 100 minutes.

SOCIA

OUTDOOR FILM SERIES: OLD SCHOOL HIP HOP

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, DUSK

BREAKIN’ DIRECTED BY JOEL SILBERG

FREE

“Sweet and high-spirited.”—Roger Ebert

Kelly, a struggling young jazz dancer starts to incorporate hip hop moves that she is exposed to

through the street dancers Ozone and Turbo. While her new style is winning audiences over on

the street, her stern dance instructor is less than impressed. Chocked full of great performances

including Turbo’s “Broom Scene,” dance battles, and even Ice-T as a DJ. 1984, video, 86 minutes.

 

 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, DUSK

BREAKIN’ 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO

DIRECTED BY SAM FIRSTENBERG

FREE

“Pure, laugh-a-minute cheeseball entertainment.”—Tasha Robinson, AV Club

The leads of Breakin’ are back as a group of dancers who band together to stop the demolition of

a community recreation center by a developer who wants to turn the site into a generic shopping

mall. Viktor Manoel, Ice-T, and Martika (Toy Soldiers) round out the cast as dancers. 1984, U.S.,

Blu-Ray, 94 minutes.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, DUSK

 

BEAT STREET DIRECTED BY STAN LATHAN

FREE

“A slice of urban life reframed through a pop culture perspective.”—Imran Khan, PopMatters

Capturing the emerging New York Hip Hop scene, Beat Street follows Kenny, an emerging musician

who mixes beats, rap, and original music, and Ramon, his talented graffiti artist. When they meet

up with legit star Tracy she knows how to get them the attention they deserve. Featuring break

battles from the Rock Steady Crew and the New York Breakers. Produced by Harry Belafonte.

1984, video, 105 minutes.

OUTDOOR

 

ART SPARKS: FREE WITH ADMISSION

SEPTEMBER

WALK A MILE IN MY SNEAKERS

Show us where your sneakers take you. Create a comic book about your everyday or unusual journeys.

 

OCTOBER

SPEEDSTERS

Design your dream sneakers and shoe box. Don’t forget to add your signature and display it in our

Gheens Court shoe store.

 

NOVEMBER

SNEAKERHEAD CHALLENGE

We give you materials and your task is to turn them into some fab footwear! What kind of sneaker

sculpture will you create?

 

 

 

ART SPARKS PROTOTYPE LAB

FREE WITH ADMISSION

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1:00–3:00 PM

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1:00–3:00 PM

SNEAKER STOP-MOTION

Show off your kicks in our community video. Stop by the Prototype Lab in Art Sparks to have your

shoes filmed for a collaborative, stop-motion short to be screened at the Museum in October. As a

thank you, you’ll receive an instant portrait of your sneakers.

 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 1:00–3:00 PM

SOLE MATES

Make your mark by creating a stamp of an original shoe sole pattern!

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1:00–3:00 PM

STEP N’ REP

Using your sneaker sole as a stamp, make a clay pendant reppin’ your favorite kicks.

Complete your creation with a shoelace “chain”!

 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15, 1:00–2:00 PM

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1:00–2:00 PM

STORYTELLER PETER HOWARD

FREE WITH ADMISSION

Join storyteller Peter Howard from the Louisville Free Public Library for an afternoon of fun

and family-friendly tales.

FAMILY

 

YOUTH AND ADULT WORKSHOPS

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 1:00–4:00 PM

BACK TO BASICS ADULT WORKSHOP: SCREEN PRINTING

AGES 16 AND UP

$20 SPEED MEMBERS | $30 NON-MEMBERS

Gucci Gucci, Louis Louis, Fendi Fendi, Prada. Find inspiration in the celebrity-designed, wearable

art of the Out of the Box exhibition. Design a logo unique to you and learn how to screen print your

design. The Museum will provide swag or BYOS (bring your own swag).

 

 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8, 10:30–12:30 PM

EXPLORE ART! YOUTH WORKSHOP: TRASH TO TREASURE

UPCYCLED JEWELRY

AGES 8–12

$20 SPEED MEMBERS | $30 NON-MEMBERS

Learn to make treasure from your trash! Transform everyday materials—like takeaway containers,

cardboard scraps, and old magazines—into wearable works of art after visiting the Out of the Box

exhibition.

 

 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8, 1:00–4:00 PM

BACK TO BASICS ADULT WORKSHOP: DIY JEWELRY

AGES 16 AND UP

$20 SPEED MEMBERS | $30 NON-MEMBERS

Learn how to transform everyday materials into wearable works of art. Remember making shrinky

dinks? You may not be able to wear the Care Bear-themed choker that you made when you were

eight, but with these new skills, you’ll be able to make jewelry inspired by contemporary art.

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