Hairdressers Are My HeroesMarch 5, 2018. Inspired by sculptures in the exhibition Five Takes on African Art / 42 Flags by Fred Wilson at the University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMass Amherst, stylist Kamala Bhagat, creates a braided hairstyle for artist Sonya Clark.
Sonya Clark is the 2017⎼18 Distinguished Artist-in- Residence at Amherst College. She chaired the Craft/Material Studies Department for 12 years at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Her work has been exhibited in more than 350 venues worldwide and is included in the permanent collection of museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, where the performance Hairdressers Are My Heroes made its debut.
Kamala Bhagat hails from an artistic family. Her mother makes African dolls, and her father teaches chemistry through African drumming. As a natural hair stylist, Bhagat specializes in intricate braids. She also designs clothing. Bhagat says that seeing her creations draping the heads and bodies of models motivates her to new efforts in both pursuits. Her greatest enjoyment comes when clients let her freestyle and bring forth whatever her imagination conjures.