making the cut at the hair salon

| 25 Aug 2016 | 02:06

Oslo Coffee Roasters has served caffeine from its small space at 422 East 75th St. for almost five years. A few months ago, Blu Bocker hair salon, which features Japanese stylings and techniques, opened just a few doors away at 436 East 75th. The hair salon's owner, Kotaro Suzuki, manager Sakiko Cooper and much of the staff found themselves drinking lots of Oslo coffee.

As it is, the coffeehouse's manager Liz Pasqualo — who is also a fine artist — and many of Oslo's baristas have gotten their hair done at Blu Bocker.

“I came in for a haircut, and we just got to talking about my artwork and a couple days later they asked if I wanted to showcase my artwork and I said, 'of course,'” Pasqualo said.

Pasqualo, 27, who has an MFA from Queens College, recently participated in an Art Students League of New York's residency in Nyack. It was there that an exhibition of 11 of her paintings, which she has called “The View,” was born.

“I am definitely inspired by my surroundings and am particularly drawn to the human elements in these scenes. The evidence of the people who live there,” she said.

Cooper thought the showing might be a way to bring in and meet new neighbors, and she was right. On Thursday last week, the salon was jammed with about 50 people. Among the attendees was Caroline Matthews, a former Oslo employee. Matthews had visited Pasqualo during her May residency and saw the development of the paintings firsthand.

“I'm so proud of her as I've followed her work over the years and this is an amazing evolution,” she said.

Many attendees were from the neighborhood. Pasqualo's mother, grandmother, aunt and boyfriend all mixed and mingled as well.

Diane Tomash made the trip all the way from the Jersey Shore and for good reason: she taught Pasqualo from when she was 6-13 years old. “Everything I taught her, she just took to it,” Tomash, an artist herself, said.

Oslo patrons were among attendees as well, including Davinder Sandhu, who lives on East 67th street. “I like art, and don't usually see things like this on the Upper East Side. I had to come, and it's great thing,” he said.

One of Blu Bocker's colorists, Lico, is also a bartender and created two cocktails especially for the evening. The View was tequila, lime, agave nectar and pineapple juice, and was concocted to look like Pasqualo's bright white-yellow short hair, which Lico herself colored.

The Oslo Bocker featured cold brew coffee, gin, bryrrh (a wine), plum, lime and soda.

“I'm not usually a fan of gin, but this went down so smooth,” said Sandu, who also liked the paintings. “Really delicious,”

Suzuki, Blu Bocker's owner, suggested the show could be the first among others.

“As an artist myself, we want to support artists and this went so much better than I expected,” he said.

Pasqualo admitted to being nervous before the opening but the packed salon and a $400 sale, which she called the “icing on the cake,” helped ease the nerves.

“Everyone from Blu Bocker did an amazing job. Also, I was so impressed at the support and turnout from the neighborhood,” she said. “I'm very grateful I had this opportunity.”