All Exhibitions

Becoming Grey - Opening Reception


Opening Reception / Meet the artist: Friday, September 3 / 5-8PM
Free and open to the public.
Opening Reception coincides with Art 'Round Town monthly gallery walk in Portsmouth.

Becoming Grey is a celebration of women’s hair, identity, desire, and power.

Through audio interviews, video, and still photographs, Becoming Grey portrays women who defy stereotypical notions of greying and gender beauty. Photographer Nancy Grace Horton coaxes women to flaunt their grey hair and explore the feelings and motivations behind the search for identity in hair color. Designed to confront expectations and provoke conversation, the Becoming Grey installation embraces every woman’s journey, and advocates for realistic representations of female identity.

Artist Statement:
Becoming Grey has been percolating in my mind for many years, as an offshoot of my previous projects investigating stereotypical roles and images of women. A woman’s grey hair is such a fraught symbol. For many, the appearance of our first grey hairs is a rite of passage, signaling both the loss of our youth and the wisdom we acquire with age. Society and popular culture push us to deny our age by dyeing away our grey, yet how can we be comfortable denying who we really are?

The photos and interviews of Becoming Grey are my way of investigating how women deal with their grey hair and how hair color affects their identity. My intent is that this project will provoke conversations and inspire others to feel comfortable being whatever version of themselves they decide to display to the world.

Every woman in Becoming Grey is on her own journey. Some are older, some are younger. Some have never dyed their hair, some have flirted with it off and on, and some became grey abruptly when hairdressers closed for the pandemic. Each of the 50-or-so women who sat for this project contributed her unique story and insights. My deepest thanks to all of you for opening your hearts, and for your pride and poise in front of the cameras. My thanks also go to 3S Artspace. First, for providing a week-long residency for the interviews and photo sessions. And now secondly, for an ideal venue in which to present the work to the world, and to bring the subjects back together to discuss their hair color adventures. —Nancy Grace Horton, 8/15/21

Nancy Grace Horton Bio:
Nancy Grace Horton is a photo-based artist who embraces both analog and digital techniques to create bold narrative fragments informed by her background in photojournalism. Her series Ms. Behavior, Mad Women, Mr.Mrs., and Being 13 utilize gender roles as inspiration to provoke thought and stimulate discussion. Humorous, ironic, biting—her images distill the angst of both feminism and the Playboy era.

“Nancy Grace Horton’s work is humorous, meaningful, and visually rich. It is very much of this moment in contemporary American life as it comments on gender roles and portrayals of women in visual culture. Most importantly, it makes all us want to Ms. Behave a little.” — Francine Weiss, curator Newport Art Museum

Nancy Grace Horton’s work has been exhibited at the Newport Art Museum, The Danforth Museum, The Griffin Museum, the New York Photo Festival, the A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, the Robin Rice Gallery in Manhattan, NY, and in numerous solo exhibitions. She was recently granted an artists residency at Turkey Land Cover Foundation. Her work is part of the permanent collection at The Newport Art Museum and the Danforth Museum. Nancy Grace Horton is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including several Artist Entrepreneurial Grants from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. She is an Adjunct Professor of Photography and conducts independent creative workshops. Her Learning to See school and community projects in the U.S. and abroad work with students of all ages to use photography to explore personal identity and community. She holds an MFA from Lesley University Art + Design, and, is Becoming Grey.


Please note: masks are required by all guests in the 3S Lobby, Gallery, and restrooms regardless of vaccination status.

Learn more about our health and safety policies.


Stay connected to the Gallery from home: view the virtual Gallery!


2021 Gallery Reception Sponsor:

Generously supported by:

Thank you to our year-round Lead Sponsors: