AMB Winner hosts “African American Hair is Art” Expo
On July 31, Justine “Tina” Jones, owner of Ashanti Hair Design — and one of our four amazing Art Means Business grant winners — kicked off her project with an incredible public event combining history, style, food and the art of African American hair.
The “African American Hair is Art” Expo took place at her business on Glass Street and featured opening remarks from Dr. Elenora Woods, founder of WPTP 100.1 FM Radio. Inside Ashanti’s, the salon was transformed into a celebration of African culture, with demonstrations as well as a gallery of local art.
The main event was a runway show with models sporting gorgeous pieces of hair art. Artists and models including Tina, Tiffanie Trimble, Stephanie Baker and DeSha McColley used these hair styles to tell stories of African American culture and to celebrate its beauty today and through the years.
The event also included images curated by historian Donald Sanderfur, son of Lizzie Ann Sanderfur who was herself a Chattanooga history maker and a leading stylist in Tennessee. The pictures gave viewers a look at the rich history of African American style in Chattanooga over the decades, and they will be on display all summer at Bessie Smith Hall.
Outside, artists Demetria Lindsey, aka Meak Artworks, painted a live mural that honored the Ashanti community, complete with depictions of the shop, the tribe around it, and a Kente cloth. Music from Vista kept energy flowing on a hot day, and the event concluded with a Taste of African Culture, featuring fresh foods that honored all the African influences in cuisine today.
Tina did awesome work bringing this event together and is planning for a part 2 before the end of the year. In the meantime, Ashanti’s is open for business, with styling clients or for anyone interested in renting out the space.
Reach out to Ashantis by visiting 2441 Glass Street or by calling 423.697.7067.