After a bit of stress, more than a few reprints and a couple of sleepless nights, I am happy to announce that my exhibition is setup! I am not sure if you are aware what goes on behind the scenes of an exhibition but it's quite a lot. Here is to give you an idea.
Before anything can be setup, you as an artist, need to know the theme. This is important because your theme should be translated to a plan that fits the space to express the message behind the art. Once you have a theme and a space you can start thinking about how you are going to layout your pieces of art to complete your theme.
My theme was clear from the beginning: BAD HAIR UPROOTED, A Celebration Of Black Follicles - Highlighting the social injustice of unequal hair rights.
I think the strong message of shooting for justice, changing perceptions one shot at the time, got me the opportunity in the first place.
So the minute I got the date, thoughts of how best to use the space were racing through my mind. When I got the measurements of the wall, I started thinking about the layout. Taking into consideration the measurements of the frames, deciding the number of natural hairstyles I wanted to have up. The wall is 18 feet wide and 8 feet high so I decided on two rows of 9 frames. In total 18 portraits of natural hairstyles to highlight the beauty of Black follicles. One row of locs, the other one natural hairstyles.
With over 800 hairstyles to choose from it's not easy to pick just 18. Making sure the selection is a variety that doesn't only convey your message but hopefully also speaks to a larger audience, is a process people, that takes time. Arranging the portraits so that the message floats is another challenge an artist has to deal with.
Jeff, his friend and Kenneth working hard to get the job done
At this point we are not even talking about setting up yet, this is just being worked out on paper and on a computer. Once the arrangement is clear, it's time for prints. Only if all the prints are what you want them to be, you can start framing them. Framing art is the last part of this planning phase. After that comes the action part when it's time to hang the frames on the wall.
Now, I am pretty good with computers, I certainly know how to handle a camera, I can even frame my own photos but I can't for the life of me hang stuff on the wall. That is if you want your stuff straight because crooked I can co. That comes naturally to me so I was very, very thankful that I had help.
Since the start Laura Scherling who basically gave me the opportunity to do this exhibit in the first place, has been nothing but supportive. So have been Jeff Kasper and Kenneth Matthew who both became enthusiasts when I told them about BAD Hair Uprooted. While Laura and Jeff are from greenspacenyc.org, Kenneth is from the Seeds of Wisdom Foundation. Both organizations supporting upcoming artists and art in their own way.
While Jeff took his time hanging the natural hair portraits with the help of a friend, Kenneth was filming and that is how the setup came together. Now, not only to I have an exhibition to look forward to, I will also have footage to look back on, memorize how we got it all together and great it is to have this kind of support. I hope to see you there. RSVP for BAD Hair Uprooted NYC.
The look content don't they?