Shirley Woodson

Connections: A Key to something else

September 22 — october 27, 2023

Artist Statement

The sources of my art production have come from the celebrating of my heritage.
and its constant renewal and resilience.  As my practice has evolved over the years my themes have evolved around both figurative and abstraction presentation. Painting, Drawing, Collage, Mixed Media, Box Works and Book works have defined themes of our musical heritage in “Kings and Queens”, “Journey”,  “Flight Into Egypt”,  “Shield of the Nile”, “Ancestry:  Niagara Reunion” and most recently “At the Crossroads “ and “Offerings”.

“Painting are my diaries; drawings are my prose; collage is my poetry assemblages are my dialogue,” Shirley Woodson

Shirley Woodson received a BFA and MA in painting from Wayne State University including graduate studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in painting and art history. Woodson’s residencies include MacDowell Colony Fellowship, Peterborough, NH; the Fabric Workshop and Museum and the Brandywine Printmaking Workshop in Philadelphia; and the Heritage House Museum in Detroit, MI. Most recently Woodson was named the 2021 Kresge Imminent Artist by Kresge Arts in Detroit. Her works are in many public and private collections including the Detroit Institute of Arts; Studio Museum of Harlem; Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Art, Boston, MA; Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NY; Florida A and M University; African American Library, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.; Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, NC; the Williams Museum, Scripps College, Claremont, CA; the Mott Warsh Collection of Contemporary Art, Flint, MI.

Woodson, known for her brilliant and intense color paintings, has developed over her long career many themes that reflect her perspective on African American culture and the diaspora. The major series are “Kings and Queens” (1968-1972), “Journey” (1974- 1976), “Shield of the Nile”(1982-1990), “Ancestors Known” (1990-present), “Niagara Reunion”1994-present), “Myself At Sea” and “At the Crossroads”(2002-present). Her work has been exhibited at the Parish Gallery, Washington, DC; the Mongerson Gallery, Chicago, IL; and the Ford and Juanita Brown Gallery, Wayne County Community College, and NCA Gallery, in Detroit. Woodson’s work is currently featured in a solo exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts titled “Shield of the Nile Reflections 2022. She also was the recipients of an Anonymous was a woman award in 2022

Traveling Exhibitions; Charles Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit and the Hampton University Museum of Art, Hampton, VA and Howard University Museum of Art, Washington, DC.