The Crown We Wear: Black Hair as Art in Life | Recording

Friday Oct 16th, 2020


The Crown We Wear: Black Hair as Art in Life

Thank you to all who attended "The Crown We Wear: Black Hair as Art in Life" on October 13. We've included a recording on our blog for your convenience.  We ask that you please kindly complete the survey included in the blog as well, as your feedback helps to inform future programming.

Florida artist Sharon Norwood participated in a conversation with master stylist, educator and author, Danielle Slade, the owner of Erie’s So Fancy Hair Salon. The moderator of this dialogue is Dr. Rhonda Matthews, Edinboro Associate Professor of Politics. Matthews is a political sociologist, with specialty areas in gender, theory and popular culture. Norwood is Erie Arts & Culture's current Visiting Artist in Residence.

Norwood creates work “that challenge our passive ways of looking.” Her sculptures, drawings, ceramics, and fiber works address a specific “social, political and cultural context” while engaging issues of “race, gender, beauty and class.” Her frequent use of a curly line is sometimes “a metaphor for the black body” and other times a decorative and formal expression, simply “a beautiful mark.

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This event was organized by Edinboro University’s Bruce Gallery and Erie Arts & Culture.


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About Sharon Norwood:

Sharon's residency is part of a visiting artist residency program launched by Erie Arts & Culture in early 2020, in collaboration with Long Road Projects.

Through this program, Erie Arts & Culture and Long Road Projects provide contemporary artists with dedicated time and space to reflect, research, and create new bodies of work – outside of their usual environments. This program also creates opportunities for new perspectives and creative processes to be shared, which in turn positively impacts the cultural and creative landscape in Northwestern Pennsylvania. 

Sharon Norwood is an interdisciplinary Artist whose work spans several media to include painting and ceramic. Norwood is a graduate from Florida State University with an MFA in studio Art, and a BFA in Painting from the University of South Florida. Her work has been exhibited in several Biennials including the Jamaica, Atlanta and Florida Biennial. Her exhibition record includes Florida, Georgia, Baltimore, Kansas City, Washington, New York, Canada, South Korea, Jamaica and Germany. Norwood is the recipient of numerous honors including the Exceptional Opportunity Award, the Andy McLaughlin Memorial Award and the Jim Boone Endowed Art Scholarship from Florida State University.

In 2016 Norwood received the Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the art’s emerging artist recognition and the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay’s Best of the Bay Emerging Artist recognition. She has participated in national and international residencies including the Vermont Studio Center (VSC), PILOTENKUECHE, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, ROKTOWA and the Jacque and Natasha Gellman Fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). Sharon maintains her studio practice in Savannah Georgia.

Sharon's Artist Statement:

My work often deals with issues of identity where I use the line as a way to explore complex relationships. My aim is to create works that challenge our passive ways of looking. The subject of my work comes from my own narrative with social, political and cultural content. I am interested in creating a dialogue that speak in nuanced ways to issues of race, gender, beauty and class. In my work the curly line takes on special importance. The curly line at times becomes a metaphor for the black body, and at other times it lives within the decorative, ornate language that connects us all back to the formal language of drawing and assertions about beauty. I enjoy the shift between hair and line, how at one moment the work is read as hair while at other times it is simply a beautiful mark.

Erie Arts & Culture

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