Performance Art

Sonya Clark: The Hair Craft Project: “Hairdressers are my Heroes”

Monday, October 12, 2015
10:00 am–4:00 pm
Richard B. Carter Gallery (Gallery 171)

Witness an ancient African hairstyle from a sculpture in the collection re-created by the hands of stylist Kathy Montrevil on the head of artist Sonya Clark. Through her new performance Clark celebrates artists across time—from the original hairdresser who created the style, to the sculptor who created the piece, to the contemporary Boston stylist, to Clark herself. Clark’s work The Hair Craft Project is featured in “Crafted: Objects in Flux” on view in the Foster Gallery, 158.

Sonya Clark’s work The Hair Craft Project, also looks at themes including artistic interpretation, anonymity and value, performative action and social practice, and, in a phrase borrowed from cultural critic Bill Gaskins, hairdressing as “the primordial fiber art.” Throughout her career, Clark’s work has often featured hair and combs in the place of more traditional fibers and art making materials. She uses them to speak meaningfully about cultural heritage, gender, beauty standards, race, and identity.

Clark is the chair of the Craft/Material Studies Department at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA from Amherst College.

Past Dates and Times

Monday, October 12, 2015


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Lead sponsor

Performance Art at the MFA is supported by Lorraine Bressler.