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Straw into Gold
A Photographic Journey featuring Rosa "Malikia" Johnson

January 27-March 11, 2023

Straw into Gold: A Photographic Journey featuring Rosa "Malikia" Johnson highlights the cultural legacy of African Ancestral Hair Sculpture through creative visionary Rosa “Malikia” Johnson. Known as “The Queen Mother of Braids,” Malikia’s unique, stylistic hair designs of intricate braiding and elaborate bead work have been showcased on notable icons such as Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Cicely Tyson, Beah Richards and Abbie Lincoln to name a few.


The exhibition features more than one hundred photographs including three dimensional objects and artifacts that represent a fraction of Malikia's rich historical archive. These photographs highlight the elegant and elaborate braided hairstyles and techniques spanning the 1970s through the early 2000s that began in Los Angeles, California. The artistic influence of her sculpted hair styles set a trend for American society as we know it, and layer the foundation of a culturally rich legacy for African American women and men across the diaspora. 

View the Exhibition

January 27-March 11, 2023 Monday-Friday 9am-9pm and Saturday 9am-4pm

Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts 251 N Spruce Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Free and open to the public

Exhibition Opening Reception

Friday, February 3 from 5-7pm

This exhibition is presented by Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County in partnership with Forever Nubian Productions. 

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