Interview with the artist, December 12, 2019

Artist’s Statement
Meeting and speaking with Ms. Beverly Glaze-Johnson was so many things. It was educational, enlightening, inspiring, sisterly and, most of all, significant. She has been voting for 43 years. Through our conversations, I sensed her passion and work ethic, ensuring not only that her family knows the significance of casting their vote in each and every election, but also that others recognize the importance of serving the community through voter registration and voting in all elections. She stated that in order to sit at her dinner table, you must be a registered voter.

One of many things that stood out during our conversation was Ms. Johnson’s account of recognizing inequity within the public school structure as a second grader. She mentioned that as a native of North Nashville, she initially attended the elementary school in her neighborhood and was later transferred to a different school in another neighborhood, only to discover that the facilities, amenities, and books at the new school were better. This discovery sparked her passion to fight for equity through the amazing work she is doing as an educator of voter’s rights. I celebrate Ms. Beverly Glaze-Johnson for her continued service as a voting advocate and a voter.

Donna Woodley is a visual artist whose works primarily discuss the relationship between Black and American culture. The figure in her paintings confronts the visibility and value of Black people within American society, both historically and in a contemporary context. The exploration of human connection and the importance of all human beings’ stories are major themes of Woodley’s work. A significant part of her process involves enlisting men and women she knows, including herself. This allows her to evaluate the complexity of human emotions and relationships and to render the figure and narrative in her paintings accordingly. Informed by stereotypes, cultural similarities and differences, perceptions of beauty, mental health, esteem, and trauma, Woodley’s work often uses subtle humor to create an environment conducive to healthy and efficient discourse. She resides in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is an educator and maintains her practice.


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