Growing up in a strong Black community in DC, Tariqa Waters had a best friend named Nikki. Nikki, and Nikki's mother, would do Tariqa's hair. To this day, cities away and years later, Tariqa has spectacular hair. Often, her hair is so long that it's like another body, so long it's almost funny. Tariqa has a wicked sense of humor, which comes out in her art. Back in the salon in those days, Tariqa and Nikki would call out "100 percent Kanekalon!" when they brought out that brand of extensions, which claims to be the best, to be pure, to be 100 percent. Tariqa's solo show opening Saturday at Northwest African American Museum is called 100% Kanekalon: The Untold Story of the Marginalized Matriarch.
I'm expecting that the show, judging from the image above, which Waters first showed last summer, is about bringing out representations of Black women that explicitly play with attitude. That, actually, might be pretty rare in Seattle art. I'm looking forward to seeing it.
UPDATE: Waters has postponed the new Martyr Sauce opening. Stay tuned. ...And during this week's First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square, Waters, who for three years ran a tiny-gallery-in-a-stairwell, will open a new location of her gallery, Martyr Sauce, in the location of the old Bud's Records in the basement at First and Jackson (102 S Jackson St). Its grand opening is 6 to 8 pm and Waters will show objects—none for sale—that her husband, Ryan, a musician, collected over decades of being a fan of, and then playing and touring with, none other than Prince.