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Sonya Clark: Hair/Craft

Sonya Clark: Hair/Craft

UMBC's Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery presents the exhibition Sonya Clark: Hair/Craft, on display from October 31 through March 12.

Sonya Clark is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores issues of identity, race, cultural heritage, and collective memory. This exhibition presents five works in which Clark applies fiber-art techniques to the medium of hair, a material laden with cultural and metaphorical significance. In these works, strands of hair represent ancestral bonds, hairstyles connote intimacy and convey Black visibility and identity, and combs bare teeth to show how hair has been an instrument of political resistance across the African diaspora.

Clark interweaves her material with historical, literary, and musical allusions ranging from the biography of Madam C. J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire, whose wealth derived from her business selling hair care products to Black women, to the hymn “Life Every Voice and Sing,” known as the unofficial Black National Anthem. Engaging craft traditions, Clark unravels the narrative threads that bind issues of contemporary importance to the past and refashions potent cultural symbols from everyday objects.

Sonya Clark is Professor of Art at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Previously, she was a Distinguished Research Fellow in the School of the Arts and Commonwealth Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) where she served as chair of the Craft/Material Studies Department from 2006 until 2017. In 2016, she was awarded a university-wide VCU Distinguished Scholars Award. Her work has been exhibited in over 350 museum and galleries in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia. She is the recipient of a United States Artists Fellowship, a Pollock Krasner award, an 1858 Prize, an Art Prize Grand Jurors Award, and an Anonymous Was a Woman Award. Most recently, she was an inaugural recipient of the Black Rock Senegal Residency Fellowship.

This exhibition was made possible in collaboration with Goya Contemporary Gallery and Sonya Clark.

Visitor Information

Admission is free.

Library Gallery hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Please note: The Library Gallery will be closed from December 23 through January 2 for UMBC’s winter break.

Sonya Clark: Hair/Craft is shown concurrently with Aaron Siskind: Formations.

Image: Sonya Clark, Hair Craft Project with Dionne, 2014. Pigment print on archival paper, 29 x 29 inches. Courtesy Goya Contemporary Gallery and Sonya Clark.

Event Contact

Event Details

Repeats weekly Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and Friday -- until Sunday March 12, 2023.
Repeats weekly Thursday -- until Sunday March 12, 2023.
Repeats weekly Sunday and Saturday -- until Sunday March 12, 2023 -- except Friday December 23, 2022, Saturday December 24, 2022, Sunday December 25, 2022, Monday December 26, 2022, Tuesday December 27, 2022, Wednesday December 28, 2022, Thursday December 29, 2022, Friday December 30, 2022, Saturday December 31, 2022, Sunday January 1, 2023, Monday January 2, 2023.


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