KENT, Ohio — A new exhibit opening next month at the Kent State University Museum is a "landmark exploration of Black hair and its important, complex place in the history of African American life and culture," the university announced Thursday.
It's called TEXTURES, and it "synthesizes new research in history, fashion, art and visual culture to reassess the “hair story” of people of African descent," the university said.
The exhibit features 180 paintings, hair artifacts, photographs, advertisements, magazine covers and more. The university said the exhibit is organized into three different themes. They are "Community and Memory," "Hair Politics" and "Black Joy."
Kent State professor Tameka Elington said she has been researching Black hair for nearly 20 years. She's a former interim assistant dean of the Kent State’s College of the Arts as well as an associate professor in Kent State's School of Fashion.
“I have always been compelled to understand the disdain Black people had about their hair texture. I wanted to dive deeply into the root of that self-hate and try to offer a solution or means by which Black people can begin to heal,” Ellington said.
Joseph Underwood, an assistant professor of art history at Kent State's School of art, called the exhibit "ambitious in its scope."
"We hope that it serves as a space where anyone, from any background, can ask questions, engage in a dialogue or just appreciate the incredible aesthetics of Black hair,” Underwood, said.
The exhibit opens on Sept. 10 and runs through Aug. 7, 2022.
Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children ages 5 to 17 years old. Anyone under 5 is admitted free. Admission is also free for individuals with a Kent State ID. Admission is also free on Sundays for everyone.
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