Exhibit in Middletown highlights creative skills required for braiding hair

A collection of works called “Kanekalon: Family” by interdisciplinary artist and designer Erica Rodney is on exhibit at Miami University Middletown through March 31.

In describing her work, Rodney shared that “in my family, we are braiders. The Kanekalon series of works came to be through exploration of ideas that highlighted hereditary creative skills, as well as art forms that have been in families for generations but may have been disregarded as a fine art form.”

Kanekalon is a synthetic, modacrylic fiber lab-engineered to make artificial hair. It is popular due to its texture, cost and versatility for styling, shaping and sculpting.

The art is displayed in the Galleria of the Miriam G. Knoll Campus and Community Center on the Miami University Middletown campus, 4200 N. University Blvd.

Born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Erica is one of a family of 12 children. Growing up, she was encouraged to pursue art by her family, friends and her high school art teacher. She moved to Columbus to attend college, served in the U.S. Marines, and returned to Columbus to complete her MFA at the Columbus College of Arts and Design in 2018, according to Miami University Middletown.

She lives in Columbus with her husband and daughter, and works at the Columbus College of Art and Design where she has taught classes. Currently, the majority of her work is independent while teaching part-time.

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