Culture of Hair

Video Still from The Haircut or…Learning to Let Go © DM Witman





Through portraiture and storytelling, five contemporary women artists explore the multifaceted meanings of hair.

May 12 – June 25, 2022 



Art exhibit viewing times: Tues. – Fri. (11 am – 5 pm); Sat. (noon – 4 pm)


Panel Discussion with Artists:
On Wednesday, May 25th at 5:00 pm (MST) a Zoom panel discussion took place with the artists. Samantha Johnston, CPAC Executive Director and Curator of the exhibition, moderated the conversation. A recording can be viewed below.

Opening Reception:
Saturday, May 21st between 5:00 and 8:00 pm. This event is free and open to the public.



Hair is a fundamental part of the human body that is fraught with expectations about beauty, identity, age, gender, and race. Culture of Hair brings together a diverse group of five women artists whose photographic work explores the multifaceted meanings of hair to gain more understanding on a subject that is at once universal and distinctive.

Rohina Hoffman explores the importance of hair in women’s lives through her storytelling portrait series Hair Stories. Utilizing her background as a neurologist, she photographs and interviews nearly three dozen women of all ages and ethnicities about their hair, capturing their responses in short audio clips. While every story is unique, Hoffman discovers a collective voice that confirms the role of hair as a meaningful mirror of identity that is often evolving.

Inspired by a “haunting” 19th-century portrait of a woman’s back and hair by Felix Nadar, Tara Bogart photographs young women from behind in A Modern Hair Study. This unique perspective forces the viewer to contend with all of the ways in which women adorn and modify themselves indicative of the struggles young women experience in finding individuality.

In Idet, Inyang Essien celebrates various facets of Nigerian culture with her portrait series of threaded hairstyles, each unique style symbolizing connection to a particular region or the status a woman holds.

Through audio interviews, video, and still photographs, Becoming Grey by Nancy Grace Horton coaxes women to flaunt their grey hair and to explore the feelings and motivations behind the search for identity in hair color.

Finally, DM Witman captures the act of cutting her hair to express grieving in her video The Haircut or…Learning to Let Go, speaking to how individuals and communities deal with the shifts in the physical environment, as well as psychological and existential changes to ourselves and our communities.

Altogether, Culture of Hair adds to the conversation about our complex relationship with hair, from personal significance and mode of self-expression to ways hair is entangled with society’s expectations and cultural constructs.



Tara Bogart is an American visual artist living in Paris, France. Her work explores identity, culture, and personal histories. Her projects employ portraiture, objects, and landscape, to examine femininity, social impacts, and family. She received a BFA in Communication Design with an Emphasis in Photography and her master’s in Photography and Image-Making from Paris College of Art.

Bogart was a finalist for the 2021 Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery, London and has exhibited at Newport Museum of Art, Rhode Island, Hous Projects, New York, Elizabeth Houston Gallery, New York, Aperture, New York, Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, The Newspace Photo Center, Portland, OR, INOVA (Institute of Visual Arts), Milwaukee, PHOTO LA, California, The Charles Allis Art Museum, Milwaukee and the Wriston Gallery at Lawrence University, Appleton, WI.

Bogart has been reviewed by L’Oeil de la Photography, New Yorker, CNN Worldwide Photos, Slate Magazine, The Huffington Post, I-D Vice, Zoom Magazine, The British Journal of Photography and The New Republic. She is in private and public collections including The National Library of France in Paris and the J Crew Corporate Collection among others.

Inyang Essien is a Nigerian-American photographer and visual artist. She works in photography, cultural textiles, video installations, and generative art to explore identity through culture, sexuality, and personal transformation.

Rohina Hoffman is an Indian-born American artist whose work focuses on themes of identity, home, adolescence, and the female experience. Raised in New Jersey, but now residing in Los Angeles, Rohina received her BS in Neuroscience and MD both from Brown University. She also studied photography at the Rhode Island School of Design. Rohina published her first monograph Hair Stories with Damiani Editore (February 2019) accompanied by a solo exhibition at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School. Hair Stories is held in many public collections and university libraries. Her photographs have been exhibited widely in juried shows and in 2021 she was the winner of the Purchase Award with Atlanta Photography Group and several of her prints from her Generation 1.75 project were acquired by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia.

Nancy Grace Horton is a photo-based artist who embraces both analog and digital techniques to create bold narrative fragments informed by her background in photojournalism. Her series Ms. Behavior, Mad Women, Mr.Mrs., Cyanotype Barbie’s, Being 13 and Becoming Grey utilize gender roles as inspiration to provoke thought and stimulate discussion. Humorous, ironic, biting—her images distill the angst of both feminism and the Playboy era.

“Nancy Grace Horton’s work is humorous, meaningful, and visually rich. It is very much of this moment in contemporary American life as it comments on gender roles and portrayals of women in visual culture. Most importantly, it makes all us want to Ms. Behave a little.”

— Francine Weiss, curator Newport Art Museum

Nancy Grace Horton’s work has been exhibited at the Newport Art Museum, The Danforth Museum, The Griffin Museum, the New York Photo Festival, the A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, the Robin Rice Gallery in Manhattan, NY, and in numerous solo exhibitions. She was recently granted an artists residency at Turkey Land Cover Foundation.  Her work is in the permanent collection of Newport Art Museum and the Danforth Art Museum.

Nancy Grace Horton is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including several Artist Entrepreneurial Grants from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. She is an Adjunct Professor of Photography and conducts independent creative workshops.  Her Learning to See school and community projects in the U.S. and abroad work with students of all ages to use photography to explore personal identity and community. She holds an MFA from Lesley University Art + Design.

She is represented by Jessica Hagen Gallery in Newport, RI.

DM Witman is a trandisciplinary artist working at the intersection of environmental disruption and the human relationship to place in the Age of the Anthropocene.

Her creative practice is deeply rooted within the realm of the effects of humans on this world using photographic materials, video, and installation. DM is affiliated with Klompching Gallery, NY and Cove Street Arts, Portland. Recent interviews and publications include The Guardian, BBC Culture, WIRED, Boston Globe, and Art New England. She actively exhibits her work and has been recognized with grants from the Maine Arts Commission, The Kindling Fund (a regrantor for the Warhol Foundation), The John Anson Kittredge Fund, and the Puffin Foundation.

She is currently Assistant Professor of Photography at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.