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200 South Madison Street

Wilmington, DE 19801


Curated by Tia Santana

June 4 - August 21, 2021

Unapologetic Conversations of Hair & Nonconformity brings attention to the past discriminatory practices that have threatened to remove people of color from professional opportunities. Systemic prejudices have historically limited access to opportunities due to nonconformity to cultural standards that promote discriminatory practices towards natural and true, authentic selves. Through personal narrative and artistic practice, the ten artists showcased here promote conversations around identity, access, discrimination, and conformity through the celebration of authenticity and pride in one’s natural being.

The diversity of approach and use of materials celebrate the beauty, the artistry, the heritage of people of color and authenticity to themselves—specifically natural hair and its appearance without apology to the institutional and societal standards constructed by Eurocentric ideas and standards. A few states including Delaware have passed legislation (The Crown Act) banning discriminatory practices on the grounds of hair style selection, making the choice of hair styles, particularly in the Black community, protected. As a public facing institution, The Delaware Contemporary embraces these efforts to confront how such rhetoric and politics alienate people of color, and we engage in public discourse about how discrimination and microaggressions play out in institutions, including museums and artistic venues, and in opportunities of advancement for people of color.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Emerald Arguelles, Stephanie Boateng, Ashleigh Brady, Michael Dika, Liz Miller, Lebohang Motaung, Robyn Phillips-Pendleton, Stephanie Richardson, Felandus Thames, and Shannon Woodloe


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