Stephanie J. Woods: my papa used to play checkers
May 28 - September 17, 2023
For her solo exhibition, my papa used to play checkers, titled after her eponymous photograph (2022), Woods presents a body of her recent work created after her life-changing artist residency at Black Rock Senegal in Dakar, Senegal in 2021. During her sojourn, she witnessed firsthand how much African culture and tradition has survived and continues to thrive in Black American communities. The same game of draughts that the Senegalese people play today was for her a familiar childhood pastime; the colorful, patterned textiles sold by street vendors were all so mesmerizing and relatable. Inspired by such indelible traces of a transatlantic cultural continuity and memories of play and creativity among Black people, Woods has created an enchanting video, your destination is in a different time zone (2023), as well as a suspended curtain woven from hair and ceramic okra, titled we makin gumbo? (2023). Her works are brooding and meditative, yet simultaneously they act as joyful reflections on the complicated history and ongoing lived experiences of Black Americans, highlighting resiliency and ingenuity.
This exhibition is made possible, in part, with generous support from:
Shari and John Hicks
Ernie Kretzmer and the Kretzmer Family Charitable Foundation
Katherine and Frank Martucci