The usual accoutrements line the stylist stations at Johnny's Classic Barber Shop: straight razors, clippers, Barbasol and Clubman talc. Owner Johnny Boucher plans to add picture wire, a level, hammer and nails to the mix, as the shop hosts its first-ever art show.
"One of my clients, a photographer, pitched me the idea," Boucher says of the exhibit, which he hopes will morph into a monthly series. "Before I knew it, artists started coming out of the woodwork. Everybody's an artist here…it's Santa Fe!"
Hence Classic One, a group show that features New Mexico landscape photographer Xavier Anderson, who rocks a "fairly traditional gentleman's haircut"; abstract expressionist Larry Blissett, who sports a pompadour; and Polaroid artist Matt Sanford, whose work is pictured and has a "pretty wild haircut: short on the sides and tapers up steeply."
"I'm dying to see it happen," Boucher says from a barber's chair, taking a breather between appointments.
The accidental curator says the show will run the gamut from "really beautiful, professional-level work to some quirky, individualistic" pieces.
He explains that the show arose from his clients'/artists' need to exhibit their work outside of the local gallery system.
The initiative follows a local trend of artists finding alternative venues for display and representation—like Grant Kosh [Arts Valve, Jan. 30: "Brush With Fame"], who shows his work exclusively at the Atomic Grill.
"It's a frustrating situation for them," Boucher, a former textbook publisher, points out. "We have wonderful galleries and museums here, but for a modest artist, it's difficult."
Distancing his initiative even further from traditional galleries, Boucher says that, in keeping with a "for the love of art" vein, he won't take a commission on sold works.
"This is just for my guys," he says. "It'll be interesting for the clients, it'll be fun for me and everyone will be happy. It's one of those win-win situations."
6 pm "to whenever" Friday, March 22. Free.
Johnny's Classic Barber Shop, 855 Cerrillos Road