Textile Artist and 2014 Art Prize Recipient 

Sonya Clark to speak at CCCD

O her artistic approach and  hair as one of the oldest art forms



ASHEVILLE, NC, March 18, 2015 -  The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) is pleased to present  From Hair to There, an artist's talk with 2014 Art Prize Recipient and Chair  of the Department of Craft and Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, Sonya Clark, on hair as one of the oldest art forms. The event will be held Friday, March 27, at 6 pm and is free and open to the public.


Born in Washington D.C. of Caribbean descent, Sonya Clark is a mixed-media textile artist who incorporates human hair, hairdressing tools, and hair-braiding techniques into her sculptural objects in order to raise questions about race, culture, class, and history.


Clark's talk will begin with the premise that hairdressing is the first textile art. Her work aims to bring out the stories held within everyday objects such as combs, cloth, and hair, ultimately creating connections between hair salons and art galleries as sites of beauty, craft, skill, improvisation, and commerce.

"Hairdressers are my heroes. The poetry and politics of Black hair care specialists are central to my work as an artist and educator," Clark asserts, "These artists have mastered a craft impossible for me to take for granted."


Clark's work is currently on view in the exhibition Loving After Lifetimes of All This, at CCCD's Benchspace Gallery & Workshop through May 23, 2015. Including work of over 15 artists, activists, and archives nationwide, the exhibition highlights craft practice as a form of cultural resistance within historically disadvantaged communities.

From Hair to There: Artist's Talk With Sonya Clark

Date: Friday, March 27, 2015

Time: 6:00 pm

Location: Benchspace Gallery & Workshop at The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, 67 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC

Admission: Free and open to the public. No registration required. 


This program received support from Warren Wilson College, with media sponsorship by Date My City and Authentic Communities Summit.



Loving After Lifetimes of All This was organized by Charlotte Street Foundation and curated by Charlotte Street's 2013-14 Curator in Residence, Danny OrendorffThis project receives support from the NC Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, through the Asheville Area Arts Council.





Established in 1996, The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) is a national nonprofit organization that advances the understanding of craft by encouraging and supporting research, critical dialogue, and professional development in the United States. CCCD raises funds for programs and outreach to international, national, and regional artists, craft organizations, universities/colleges, and the community. Each year, CCCD administers over a quarter million dollars in grants to those working in the craft field. At the end of January 2014, CCCD relocated to Asheville, NC, and opened Benchspace, a public gallery and workshop for investigating contemporary practices of making in the shifting creative landscape of the 21st century.


Sonya Clark is a fiber and mixed media artist working in Richmond, Virginia, where she is professor and chair the Department of Craft and Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. She uses objects such as cloth, hair, and combs to address American identity and history. She has an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and also holds BA from Amherst College. She is the recipient of several awards, including a United States Artists Fellowship, Art Prize, and a Pollock-Krasner Grant. Clark's work has been exhibited in over 250 museums and galleries in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, Australia, and throughout the United States.


PRESS IMAGES  (contact for hi-res images)



Sonya Clark. Photo: Meg Roberts.

Sonya Clark, Afro Abe II (one in a series of 44), 2008-12; $5 bill, thread; 4 x 6 in. Photo: Taylor Dabney



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