An art show in a barber shop? That’s right. Clever, quirky and fun – a perfect fit for Heidi Lender’s work. The Heidi Lender show in New York City last Thursday was the first official run of the new gallery model we’ve adopted at JSG: one-night-only exhibitions in unique spaces that fit the artists’ work. And I have to say, we rocked it. (For more info on the JSG/Crusade connection - read here.)

Heidi and I met at the Neighborhood Cut & Shave at 2pm on the day of the opening. The first box of work (shipped up last week) was opened (with an old-fashioned straight blade no less – these barbers are not messing around) at 2:30pm. We quickly learned the walls were concrete or tile, and our only option was to use the screws already in place. Well, try that puzzle on for size. Lots of framed photographs, wanting to group them by series, only being able to use existing hardware – oh, and figuring all of this out while the barbers were actively cutting hair. It was insane. You know, how I like it.

So we climbed on barber chairs and ran around the neighborhood looking for acceptable wine cups and ice buckets and (Oh yeah! We almost forgot!) ingredients to make mojitos. Heidi will admit to being a little on the stressed side. Once I got my afternoon latte I was golden.

At 7pm (the start time for the show), the barbers were still snipping hair and shaving faces, potentially even giving a quick trim to one of our first guests, but the wine and mojitos were flowing right on time, and the work looked fantastic on the walls.

It was a packed house all night, with a regularly rotating flow of guests. I can’t tell you how many times I heard someone say, “An art show at a barber shop? I just had to come see this!” That’s right – we do it different and we do it crazy, and maybe that’s exactly what we all need.

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