The Newport Art Museum today announced a new exhibition, “Hair Stories,” which will be on view to the public from Saturday, July 17 through October 31, 2021.

Hair is more than just the threadlike growth in human beings. It has played important roles in culture, religion, politics, ritual, and identity throughout history and in the present day. In some cultures, hair is a source of strength or a sign of femininity, virility, and beauty. How it is cut, styled, treated, and kept embodies individual and cultural values. At times, it has been the subject of cultural and political conflicts. It is both symbolic and personal.

Bringing together a diverse group of artists whose work focuses on hair or uses hair as a medium, this show explores the multifaceted meanings of hair today. From hair jewelry and lockets that fetishize hair to photographs, sculptures, and video works that celebrate hair, this show examines the ways in which hair functions as a complex set of codes and as the loaded raw material for artistic expression. Themes include history, narrative, loss and mourning, and identity (cultural, racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual identity). Featured artists include: Eunice Adorno, Melanie Bilenker, Tara Bogart, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Sonya Clark, Sean M. Johnson, Nneka Kai, Vivian Keulards, Wangui Maina, Ana Mendieta, Patricia Miranda, Zanele Muholi, J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, Rachel Portesi, Shahzia Sikander, Lorna Simpson, Gu Wenda, Nafis M. White, Anne Wilson, and D.M. Witman.

“Hair Stories” was made possible with the generous support of the West Bay Foundation, Steven and Ellen Bowman, Chas A. Miller III and Birch Coffey / Charles A. and Lois H. Miller Foundation, Cleo and Michael Gewirz, Susan and George Petrovas, and Dwight and Susan Sipprelle.For more information, visit newportartmuseum.org.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).