February 23 – April 1, 2006
Thursday, February 23rd
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
ClampArt is pleased to announce “Kathy’s Beauty Nook,” an exhibition of photographs by artist, John Arsenault.
Growing up in a small town in northern Massachusetts, John Arsenault spent a great deal of time during his childhood in his Aunt Kathy’s hair salon. Opened in the late 1960s, Kathy’s Beauty Nook has catered to three generations of women, most of whom now range from 60 to 96 years of age.
Arsenault enjoyed the upbeat, bustling environment of the beauty parlor, and it was there that his aunt first recognized and later encouraged her nephew’s exceptional creativity. In fact, with Kathy’s instruction, Arsenault soon began styling hair himself, and his first job after high school was impressively in Boston at the Vidal Sassoon salon on Newbury Street.
Nonetheless, Arsenault eventually decided to pursue his aptitude for photography, and enrolled at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he earned a BFA in 1999. Yet, the allure of Kathy’s Beauty Nook never faded, and over the past two years, the artist has been returning periodically to Haverhill, Massachusetts in order to photograph his aunt and her colorful clientele. Aside from shooting just clippers, curlers, and blue-tinted coiffures, Arsenault is documenting a tight-knit community of women who have shared the majority of their lives with one another. While the photographs are gorgeously crafted and often laugh-out-loud funny, there is a notable sensitivity, too, as the individuals who serve as the artist’s subjects are also the people of his personal life.
“Kathy’s Beauty Nook” is John Arsenault’s first solo show at the ClampArt. He has been exhibiting seriously for nearly a decade, with shows in New York, Los Angeles, and London.