Beyond helping us look good, salons hold the promise that a new hairstyle or hair color can reveal a deeper, inner beauty and allow our whole selves to radiate forth.  Mary Jane Nusbaum and James Porter’s art installation responds to this environment by populating Le Shag with artworks that are by turns humorous, sexual, poignant, kitschy, and/or mystical – encompassing much of who we are as humans. These varied works include printmaking, collage, photography, drawing, painting, and sculpture, all of it intended to magnify the transformations that happen daily at Le Shag, animate the conversations that occur between stylist and client in this social space, and invite visitors to “radiate everything you are,” a line drawn from “Dig a Pony” by the Beatles. 

These works will be displayed in Le Shag’s space at 292 Fair Street, Kingston, NY. The official opening for these works is on Friday, April 1st, 2022, from 6-8:00 PM. All are welcome! 

Below is James Porter’s personal artist statement: 

Though we tend to think of artmaking as a solitary studio practice, and it often is, I’m especially interested in art as a social practice that can both resist the fragmentation and divisiveness of our times and help to build relationships and communities. In this light, the objects I make are a means to relationships rather than an end in themselves. Our installation at Le Shag was an opportunity to pursue this relational approach. For instance, Mary Jane and I have deepened our friendship and inspired each other in the process of co-curating the work. Le Shag manager Kara Eletto, herself a talented painter, joined in the fun by collaborating with us on the installation.  Working late into the night, the three of us found “just right” pairings and placements in which our works and the space enter into a dialogue – an exhilarating process that also forged meaningful connections between us. Thank you to Le Shag, Kara Eletto, and Mary Jane for the opportunity to connect and share my work!