Kent State University Museum Announces TEXTURES Symposium April 14-15

KENT, OH – The Kent State University Museum is thrilled to announce its upcoming symposium, convened in conjunction with the exhibition “TEXTURES: the history and art of Black hair,” taking place April 14-15 at the KSU Museum. The exhibition runs through August 14, 2022, and synthesizes research in history, fashion, art, and visual culture to reassess the “hair story” of peoples of African descent. The Symposium surrounds these histories and convenes thinkers and creators from a variety of backgrounds to discuss, engage, and celebrate ideas pertaining to Black history, hair, beauty, and culture.   

The two-day event will feature 17 presentations, two film screenings and two keynote lectures given by Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka, clinical psychologist and hairstylist, PsychoHairapy LLC, and Dr. Crystal Porter, hair scientist and president of Mane Insights, Inc. This event is open to the public and will also be livestreamed on the Museum's website for those unable to attend in person.

Organized by the Kent State University Museum, with co-curators and Kent State University professors Tameka Ellington, Ph.D., and Joseph Underwood, Ph.D., “TEXTURES” includes 180 paintings, sculptures, hair artifacts, photographs, advertisements, magazine covers and other media organized into three themes: Community & Memory, Hair Politics and Black Joy. Black hair is addressed by artists, barbers and activists in both its historical perceptions and its ramifications for self and society today. “TEXTURES” includes hair products and implements from the premier collection of Willie Morrow; community-focused public programming in partnership with artists, local barbershops and salons from the region; and interactives to engage audiences with the historic and contemporary connotations of Black hair, created in partnership with Kent State’s Wick Poetry Center. The exhibition is accompanied by a 200-page catalogue published and distributed by Hirmer Publishers that is available for purchase through the KSU Museum, in person or online.

“TEXTURES: the history and art of Black hair” is made possible with the generous sponsorship of: P&G-My Black is Beautiful, Bank of America, L’Oreal-Dark & Lovely and Carol’s Daughter, and RevAir, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, Ohio Humanities Council, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, KSU Global Understanding Research Initiative, KSU Office of the Provost, KSU Dean’s Office of the College of the Arts, Leslie Royce Resnik, KSU School of Fashion, KSU Department of Africana Studies, KSU Research and Sponsored Programs, Dr. Geneva Damron, Ph.D., colorist and brand ambassador Greg Gilmore, and the Kent Area (Ohio) Chapter of The Links Inc.

About the Kent State University Museum

The Kent State University Museum is located at 515 Hilltop Drive, at the corner of East Main Street and South Lincoln Street in Kent, Ohio. It features more than 29,000 pieces in its collection, amassed from many generous donors. The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon - 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in person at the museum or in advance through the museum’s online ticketing service. At this time, masks are optional for visitors of the KSU Museum, and a personal choice during your visit.


Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children ages 5 to 17. The museum is free for children under 5 and for those with a Kent State ID. Sunday admission is free for all ages. Parking is free for all museum attendees. Patrons should use the allotted museum spaces in the Rockwell Hall parking lot. For more information, please call 330-672-3450 or visit


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Media Contact:

Anna Mates,

POSTED: Tuesday, April 5, 2022 03:58 PM
UPDATED: Sunday, July 14, 2024 08:13 PM