Hair Unmasked is a performance by guest performing artist Dejeonge Reese which seeks to celebrate and normalize Black hair in its natural beauty and uniqueness. The performance will be an immersive experience, as Dejeonge interacts with the audience, relating to them as though she is not even wearing the mask. This artistic choice highlights the idea that black hair should be regarded as a natural and integral part of one's identity, deserving of equal acceptance and recognition. The mask allows us to transform and communicate in a non-verbal manner. Just as our hair allows us to transform based on how we choose to style and wear it; it allows us to communicate a part of who we are without saying a word. This ongoing collection explores the spiritual middle ground between our hair and our ancestry. The mask was inspired by tribal masks from regions of Africa that the artist discovered in her own ancestry DNA. Through this performance, she aims to break down barriers and challenge societal norms surrounding black hair, while embracing and showcasing its true essence.
DeJeonge Reese is a black female visual artist, educator, and art advocate from Yeadon, Pennsylvania. With a background in ceramics, she explores installation, mixed media, and performance art. Growing her natural hair challenged beauty standards among women of color. Her art stimulates conversations on identity, linage, roots, and ancestry within the black community.