Dayton Society of Artists celebrates Black hair in new exhibit

The Dayton Society of Artists is highlighting the history and cultural impacts of hair in its latest exhibit.

“HAIRitage: A Cultural Journey & Experience,” a collection created and curated by artist Erin Smith, will be a “celebration of hair and adornment culture, hair as a community resource, Black hair history, BIPOC hair as a form of protest and of course, hair as art,” according to the DSA.

Smith, who is a professor of art at Central State University and a small business owner, was awarded the Dayton Region Arts Renewal Grant funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by Culture Works last fall. She was one of 22 arts who received the grant in support of jobs in the arts in the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. .

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Work that Smith has been creating since she studied at the University of Cincinnati to now will be on display, including 2D and 3D artwork and her signature Acrylic Squared collection.

The HAIRitage collection will be on display at the Dayton Society of Artists’ gallery located at 48 High Street in Dayton beginning Friday, March 3. Friday’s opening reception from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. will allow visitors the opportunity to talk with Smith over wine, light appetizers and music.

For the duration of the exhibit, Smith will be working with artists and Black-owned businesses in the Dayton area to bring awareness to discrimination of Black hair and advocate for anti-discrimination legislation. Smith will return to the gallery on March 11 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for an artist talk and will also be discussing the CROWN Act— the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act— which is a law that prohibits discrimination on the bases of hair texture and style in the workplace.

The exhibition will run until March 31, and the gallery will hold a live hair performance by loctician Teasha from Tastefully Loc’d as she demonstrates her work on a model.

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What: “HAIRitage: A Cultural Journey & Experience”

When: March 3-31. Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Dayton Society of Artists gallery at 48 High Street, Dayton

More Information and RSVP:

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