I think a number of you can relate, November 2017 was the beginning of some intense times! A number of us took some big losses and now that it is Sept 2018, we are realizing those losses, as painful as they were, needed to happen. We are freer and more expansive so long as we survived the transition.
In November 2017, I was living at the Denver Art Society working as the Interim Executive director and building my reputation as an artist. I had a successful night at Pancakes and Booze and was applying for more showcases and exhibition spaces. I hadn’t been in a salon for nearly 15 years, I figured I’d cut my own hair to save money and since swimming was my main sport throughout high school and college there was no reason to dye my hair. However, during the summer of 2017, I began getting my eyebrows waxed for the first time; I figured I was a professional and needed to look more the part. My Hair Trip Salon has been across the street as long as I have been at the Denver Art Society. It is an all organic and waste conscious salon, my kind of place. The stylists, artists, and body workers who create there are so positive, supportive, and uplifting, it’s a true gem of the Art District on Santa Fe Drive.
In December, I made it into the salon to keep up with my eyebrow shaping treatments and inquired about exhibition times. They display artwork for three months at a time. I inquired about availability and Kyle signed me up for March-June 2018. I was excited and felt there was something special to the space.
As the year came to a close, the Denver Art Society Board of Directors demoted me, slandered me, and harassed me well into March 2018. Heartbroken and devastated, I tried to fix the situation the best I could filing an incident report against the President of the Board and the coop members who were attacking me. Denver Art Society was my home, my reputation, my work place. I knew all our neighbors and LOVED living there. Others members were being treated unfairly like I was so we all did our best to hold our ground. Ultimately, it was one of those situations where I knew I was fighting a losing battle. Once I realized this, I gave it all up, resigned and moved out. I almost relocated my studio during this time but my reputation preceded me and I didn’t want to lose touch with my studio, its location, and reputation. I had seen these political melt downs happen before at Denver Art Society and rarely saw the members who were effected by it afterwards. While I was holding onto my studio and dealing with persistent harassment from the admin of the Denver Art Society, I was even more energized to look for new exhibition spaces. My Hair Trip Salon was one of these spaces; I was able to be in a positive environment and regain the confidence that had been harassed and slandered out of me.
Thankfully, when my show went up in March, it was well received, I sold a piece the first week! I received such a warm welcome and lots of compliments. The owner, Nichol Zamora, really liked a painting that I hung in her studio. We cherished the painting, Space Whales, together adoring the little doggies with scuba gear, a kind of hidden detail. During such a challenging time, the positive environment of My Hair Trip Salon and everyone’s admiration for my art, put wind in my sails to continue making art and promoting myself in Denver.
Over the three months my artwork rotated through the salon, I continued to build a relationship with the stylists there. I decided to get my hair cut for the first time in 15 years! Melissa did a great job honing in on my hair style, providing me an edge I never would have tried on my own. By June and the end of my exhibition, Nicole offered me to be her model for the salon photo shoot in June. Humbled and honored, I accepted without question. She also offered me the option to trade the painting Space Whales for hair styling. Again, I was humbled and honored, and accepted without question.
I have found such support in the Art District on Santa Fe. During those traumatic times, the Art District offered me a seat on their Board of Directors regardless of the slander and harassment that made its way around. My Hair Trip Salon is a beacon of light and a place to learn professionalism and healthy working relationships. My art aligns well with Nicole’s personal and business mission statements. Throughout the time I have been going to My Hair Trip Salon, I have found the value in supportive friends and how to build a community with those who share a similar vision. My Hair Trip supports so many local artist and artisans with love and positivity. Please consider their services next time you are treating yourself and your friends. You wont be disappointed!