The Beverly and Sam Ross Gallery at Christian Brothers University is proud to present a solo exhibition by Khara Woods, on exhibit from October 10 through November 21, 2020. Woods is a graphic designer and artist from Memphis. Her work is largely inspired by geometric abstraction and pop art. Since 2015, she has created and collaborated on a number of murals and public art projects in Memphis, TN. Her latest murals and light installation can be seen at Cornelia Crenshaw Library in South City.

Khara Woods artwork
Left: Beaming, 16×20 inches, spray paint on birch panel; Right: Pitch, 14×11 inches, spray paint on linen

In this exhibition, the artist explores an ancestral connection to craft, specifically woodworking, through hard-edge painting and thoughtfully constructed objects. After discovering that her grandfathers were prolific woodworkers, Woods’ sought to develop a body of work that exemplifies her family’s legacy as makers.

Khara Woods’ grandfather, Yancy, worked as a lumberer at E.L. Bruce Company, once the largest manufacturer of hardwood flooring in the world. His grandfather was a carpenter. Since the pandemic, the artist has researched her family tree and is discovering her use of wood as a primary medium in her work is less an arbitrary choice and more by design.

“Wood is such a good medium to work with,” Woods says. “It’s easy to find, utilitarian. I started by repurposing discarded home improvement pieces I found along the street in my neighborhood. I would use spray paint to embellish the pieces in simple striped patterns, playing with the balance of negative and positive space, and using tape to create a hard edge.”

Art is legacy for Woods. Her greatest influence comes from her mother, who is an accomplished artist. The two collaborated on and painted Wood’s first mural in 2015. Since then, she has worked on several public art projects city-wide and completed her first data visualization mural, Basin Portraits, in October 2019, produced through the Art + Environment Initiative, a program launched by the UrbanArt Commission and funded by Mural Arts Philadelphia.

To learn more about the artist, visit her website at www.kharawoods.com.

NOTE: Due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, viewings are available to the public by appointment only. Please contact Scott Carter, Gallery Coordinator, at scarte20@cbu.edu to make an appointment. Virtual viewing options will also be made available at www.cbu.edu/gallery.

The Beverly & Sam Ross Gallery is located on the lower level of Plough Memorial Library in the center of campus on the Buckman Quadrangle, easily accessible from the Central Avenue parking lot and the East Parkway entrance. All exhibits are free and open to the public.