New artist-in-residence displays art exhibit, teaches students to braid


Maria Shaughnessy

Lusia Austen examines one of the photos of the exhibit “Braids,” designed by artist Shani Crowe and on display in the Corvus Gallery in Gordon Parks Arts Hall until March 13.

Meena Lee, Reporter

“Braids”, a new art exhibit created by artist Shani Crowe, is now open in the Corvus Gallery in Gordon Parks Arts Hall until March 13. Crowe is the artist-in-residence for the Middle School winter quarter, and will be in Gordon Parks Feb 3. to May 1 to teach students how to braid and its importance to the gallery. She will be creating a work studio in the Corvus Gallery where students can meet her Tuesdays and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The nine photographs in the gallery are portraits of black women with intricate cornrow hairstyles. 

Crowe, a Chicago-based artist, gets her inspiration from the many African cultures that have unique hairstyles. She says her work is meant to promote the connection and community that comes with braiding among people of African descent as well as empower black women and their beauty. 

“It’s just trying to glorify black women and make them imagine themselves beyond their wildest dreams,” Crowe said, in a pamphlet in the exhibit.

Teachers at the Lab Schools agree on the importance of having an exhibit of this nature in the school for students to view. Crowe will give a talk March 10 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the middle school theater

Gina Alicea, a Lower and Middle school art teacher and director of the gallery, said

“I think it is wonderful to have an artist that is bringing our awareness to the beauty of those braids and the beauty of the different patterns that can be created.”– Meena Lee