FEEL YOU with Kimberly Drew
FEEL YOU with Kimberly Drew
FEEL YOU is a celebration of individuality and style with over 30 artists, creatives, and activists from around the world. We continue the series with Kimberly Drew, a Brooklyn-based writer, curator, and activist with a passion for art, fashion, and cultural studies. Her newest book “This Is What I Know About Art” details her experience as a Black woman in the arts. It’s deeply personal and boldly aware – reminding readers that the art world isn’t just for the elite, but for everyone. Wearing the Classic Mini and UGG Ready-to-Wear, meet Kimberly Drew.
Describe a day in the life of Kimberly Drew.
Each day is a bit of a new adventure when you work as a freelancer. Some days I spend writing, some others reading, but I always try to make sure that the majority of my day is spent connecting with friends and family. In light of the pandemic, I’ve also deeply invested in wellness practices like breathwork and yoga.
How do you FEEL these days and why?
I feel overwhelmed these days. Full disclosure, I’m writing this just days after the loss of Justice Ginsburg. These days, I feel heavy and a bit scared for the future of our nation.
You’re a writer, curator, and activist. How do art and protest meet in our life?
In my day-to-day life, art and protest are always tied together. As an author and activist, I am always inspired to see this intersection as art and design are utilized to help the public rally around ideas. Seeing artists and critical thinkers move through despair to find solutions reminds me that there’s always room for hope. With each new discovery, I see my peers carving out a way to fight back.
You’re newest book details your experience as a Black woman in the arts. It’s deeply personal and boldly aware – reminding readers that the art world isn’t just for the elite, but for everyone. What steps can individuals and institutions take to make the arts more accessible to underrepresented communities?
I think every fight begins at home. Each one of us (with access to the internet) has an opportunity to learn from and engage with the arts. My journey into the art world started with a Google search. We each have the agency to live in greater proximity to culture, which I believe is such a privilege. As for institutions, I think that there’s a particular responsibility to make sure that this individualized study is nourished and encouraged. That work of encouragement begins with paying staff equitability, providing mentorship for the next generation of art workers, and making web and brick-and-mortar spaces as accessible and welcoming as possible.
Describe your style and what it says about you.
I like to think of one’s personal style as their first impression. How we dress is the first way that others will interpret us. For me, I like to outfit myself with clothing that speaks to my morals and the story that I want to tell each day. In this pandemic moment, style has been a creative outlet. More than ever, I draw for myself and have somewhat unique agency over how I want to share my creations. Some days, I wear sweats to remind myself of softness and on others I wear my favorite dresses and heels and dance around just because I can. I find so much potential in style, and each day I try to seize it.
What keeps you feeling hopeful?
I feel most hopeful when I am at rest. I feel most hopeful when I can carve out time to restore and trust that there will be another day to move forward and face whatever comes next. Simply put, I feel hopeful knowing that there’s always more on the horizon.
Any closing words you wish to share in these uncertain times?
Get to the polls.