4 Questions with Artist LaShonda Cooks

What was your main inspiration for your exhibit, Hair Story: The Myths, Magic, & Methods of Black Hair?

My primary inspiration for Hair Story was a poem by the late great Rage Almighty, a renowned poet based in Dallas. I was at an event and heard him perform that poem. It echoed in my soul. In particular, a part about remembering the women behind the chair spoke to me. It reminded me of my first beautician, my grandmother, and my marvelous beauticians throughout the years, the solace I found in their chairs, in their hands, and the wear and tear this pivotal work does to their bodies.

If you could describe the exhibit in 4 words, what would those four words be? Why?

Black Hair Immersive Experience. My goal is two-fold: for Black women to see themselves and their hair celebrated; and for those of different experiences and hair types to leave understanding a bit more of the world of Black hair and why it matters.

Piece by LaShonda Cooks from the Hair Story Exhibit

How has this experience changed you?

It has made me realize the power of faith and the power of an idea. Initially, I pitched this concept, but it did not get funded. I decided to move forward and self-fund it. Then, COVID-19 usurped my plans. All during quarantine and the pandemic, I kept creating my pieces while holding out hope that eventually the show would come to be. Last month, I received a call from a curator at the African American Museum to telling me the date and timeline for the show. Then, I also applied for a microgrant from the Office of Arts and Culture in Dallas, which was approved. I’m grateful and living proof that with faith and adherence to the vision that God gifts you, all things are possible in His timing.

What is your hope/prayer for those who see your work?

My prayer is that the show will be a well-deserved celebration of the beauty of the women selected as muses and showcase the diversity of Black hair. And that everyone who comes is blessed and encouraged to honor the temples they were given.

When: Opening: Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 12 PM CST – 5 PM CST and will be available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays after Nov 14 through February Where: African American Museum of Dallas Hosted by Shonda’s Art

Explore the myths, magic and methods of Black hair through the lenses of 7 artists: Art-Fro Kreationz, Ciara Elle Bryant, Danielle Demetria, Feniiix Raiii, LaShonda Cooks, Loosemedium and Youveline Joseph, with special help from writer Linda Jones and Glimmer 411. Exhibit is open noon to 5 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays starting Nov 14. Sponsored by the Office of Arts and Culture and Shonda’s Art.

To find our more about LaShonda Cooks:

Website: shondasart.com Blog: lcooks.wordpress.com

Published by niacaraw

I am an educator, a wife of 24 years, and mother of three beautiful children. I have taught the word of God to all ages and love to share it in creative ways. I've always had a passion for written expression. Over the years, I have documented my personal thoughts and prayers. Poems, devotionals, worship songs, and more have come from my life experiences. Now, I am ready to share them with the hope that lives and hearts will be changed as well as greatly blessed. I am flawed but striving for perfection in Christ. Although I have fallen short of the glory of God, I am forgiven. I am loved with an everlasting love. I am FREE!

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