The Marc Steiner Show

Sonya Clark: Hair, Art, and Identity

 An interview with textile artist Sonya Clark, whose exhibit at the Walters Art Museum shows sculptures made of human hair.

Do you run your hands happily through your lover’s hair, but cringe when you find one of their hairs on your pillow or in a dish they have prepared for you? Do you spend hundreds of dollars on fancy salons and designer gels and shampoos to achieve that "just rolled out of bed" look? Do you agonize over hair that is thinning as it you older? Is your hair more important to you than you might like to admit?

These are just a few of the tensions that textile artist Sonya Clark’s work is evocative of. Her new exhibit at the Walters Art Museum, "Loose Stands, Tight Knots" is full of pieces she made using her own hair and in some cases, the hair of others. As a black woman, she is well aware of the complicated and fascinating role that hair plays in the African American community. She’s also using her work to reflect on the history of her parents and grandparents, who were also craftspeople.

Sonya sat down with Marc Steiner for an interview about the role hair has played in her life, why she chooses to use it as her medium, and what her art says about human experience.

Below are some pictures of Sonya Clark’s work that are currently being exhibited at the Walters Art Museum. The exhibit will be open until September 21st. Enjoy the podcast and the exhibit!

Links for further learning:

Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

The Marc Steiner Show airs Monday thru Friday from 10AM to Noon on WEAA 88.9 FM. The show covers the topics that matter, engaging real voices, from Charm City to Cairo and beyond. Call us at 410.319.8888 or email us to participate live in the show, or share your comments on our site! Aren’t in Baltimore but want to listen? Stream the show live.


  1. hoping u can help me, wanting to introduce my own hair medium, hoping u might at least be interested in hearing about it. 100 % original, I sure hope, I believe it is, also interesting back story that goes along with each piece.
    please respond to me, thank you

  2. your wrk is new to me, but I see beauty and find intrigue within lots of different forms of art and it’s variety of mediums, you also, ( judging solely from the sound byte available here) seem like someone who might see the same worth in my own endeavor, thanks again

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