Ex­hibit lauds cre­ator of ‘Black Pan­ther’ cos­tume

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Travel - By Kris­ten de Groot As­so­ci­ated Press

PITTS­BURGH — For more than 30 years, cos­tume de­signer Ruth E. Carter’s cre­ations have brought the AfricanAmer­i­can ex­pe­ri­ence to life on the big screen, from 19th-cen­tury slave ships in “Amis­tad” to 1980s Brook­lyn in “Do the Right Thing” to the Afro­fu­tur­is­tic land of Wakanda in “Black Pan­ther.” Now, she’s brought the spec­trum of her work to Pitts­burgh for a new ex­hibit called “He­roes & Sheroes: The Art & In­flu­ence of Ruth E. Carter in Black Cin­ema.”

The show opened this month at the Se­na­tor John Heinz His­tory Cen­ter, show­cas­ing more than 40 cos­tumes from nine movies, and runs through Dec. 2.

“I’d been think­ing about do­ing a ret­ro­spec­tive for some time, and I re­ally do love Pitts­burgh, so it seemed like a com­fort­able place to test the wa­ters for the ex­hibit,” Carter said in a re­cent phone in­ter­view.

Carter has worked on more than 50 films since she made the switch from de­sign­ing for the­ater com­pa­nies and dance troupes in the early 1980s, when Spike Lee hired her as a cos­tume de­signer on “School Daze.”

The ex­hibit will cel­e­brate her ca­reer and show­case sketches and movie clips along­side the cos­tumes from films in­clud­ing “Amis­tad,” “Sparkle,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “The But­ler,” “Mal­colm X,” “Selma” “Do the Right Thing” and of course “Black Pan­ther.”

Carter was ap­proached about bring­ing a ret­ro­spec­tive to Pitts­burgh by De­mea­tria Boc­cella, whose or­ga­ni­za­tion Fash­ionAFRICANA fo­cuses on art and fash­ion in the African di­as­pora for shows around the city. Carter says she hopes vis­i­tors take away from the ex­hibit some­thing they didn’t know be­fore and per­haps find in­spi­ra­tion from her back story:

“If I can do it, they can do it. You can live out your dream.”

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