about the Gallery & Work

The Woodrow Nash Studio and Gallery resonates over 30 years of cultural, social and spiritual experiences transformed into statues, torsos & timeless objects of sacred art — stirring the consciousness of the beholder.

Established in August 2002 in Akron, Ohio, the purpose of the gallery is to nurture and promote a sense of cultural awareness.

Woodrow Nash devotes the gallery collection to the human figure — a subject matter romanticized by artists for over five millennium. Looking at magnificent nude sculptures by Michelangelo, Rodin, Henry Moore, and other great artists, we are in awe of the beauty and power of the human form.

The adornment of the human form in Africa in particular, was one of the ways that cultures interacted with each other. Many different tribes and groups can be recognized by their jewelry and body art.

Body adornment offered African cultures an opportunity to shape their presentation of self to the world. The electrifying power of Nash, to reveal numinous dimensions of consciousness through creation of human bodies — adorned in tattoos, body painting, and jewelry — offers a glimpse of the valuable artwork that exists beyond the reaches of North America. An impressive collection of sculpture serves to demonstrate the highly developed intellectual vigor and breadth of the body as an artifact — demonstrated in African cultures.

Seen through the sharp unwavering lens of Nash, the gallery is an ever-growing gallery of tribal icons that provide enduring inspiration for a life lived outside cultural, social and spiritual boundaries. The universality of selected works (while concretely African) hold roots in the interconnections of all mankind.

Woodrow Nash’s gallery houses one of most renowned collections of ceramic tribal art in the world – they are the highly raved creations of Woodrow Nash. The intriguing ceramic sculptures present an innovative marriage of 15th Century Benin and 18th Century French Nouveau, creating what he has coined “African Nouveau”.

African Nouveau is the term created by Nash to describe the present body of work. It is specifically Africa and European in influence. The images are African in general – the concept is 15th century Benin with graceful, slender proportions and long undulating lines of 18th century Art Nouveau.

Both styles were often asymmetrical using decorative shapes and ornamental motifs derived from natural forms. The two styles lend themselves well to each other – hence the term “Africa Nouveau”.

The serial nature of the works – an inspired composition of torsos, sculptures and timeless objects of contemplation – recall a primitive minimalist whose relentless repetitiveness produces extraordinary and mysterious structures.

Inside these bold bodies dwell the spirits of African kings, queens, warriors and kinsmen.

View the work