African-American Artist Woodrow Nash Creates Art for Celebrities, Everyday People Alike
(AKRON, Ohio) – Woodrow Nash has always wanted one thing in life: to create art. For more than 30 years, the talented sculptor has gotten his wish. He is able to spend his days working on his amazingly lifelike works of art and, as an added bonus, his creations are collected internationally by celebrities, athletes and working professionals alike.
His signature style, which he has affectionately coined African Nouveau, combines 15th century Benin and 18th century French Nouveau characteristics into a stunning fusion of realistic lines and curves.
“My style is my own,” Nash said. “It comes from my passion to create realism in sculpting the human form.”
Whether he uses stoneware, earthenware, terracotta or porcelain, Nash’s sculptures reflect a unique style that attracts buyers from all walks of life. But, at an investment often in the range of $10,000 to $20,000 for the life-size pieces, many buyers include professional athletes, musical stars and Hollywood actors.
Nash’s pieces, combining his style and vision of the human form, have become favorite collector’s items in many million-dollar homes. With trends leaning toward flowing lines and unique materials, Nash’s pieces are a perfect complement to the expertly designed homes of the stars. Celebrities and athletes flock to buy Woodrow Nash pieces, among them Katie Couric, Tina Knowles and Smokey Robinson.
Nash is also a favorite among interior designers around the nation who use his art as focal points throughout homes that they decorate.
“I personally feel that each individual piece has its own character and is both original and unique,” said Stephanie Gowdy, an interior designer based out of Atlanta. “My clients like pieces that are ‘different’ and Woodrow’s sculptures always make a statement.”
Gowdy’s clients include pro-athletes such as Ashley Ambrose of the New Orleans Saints, Ken “The Hammer” Hamlin with the Seattle Seahawks and Ray Buchanan of the Oakland Raiders.
“Ken Hamlin gave me control of the project while he was on the road, and when I told him that I had found a piece that would remind him of himself, he was skeptical,” Gowdy reminisces. “When he saw Woodrow’s sculpture, he jumped across the room with a huge smile on his face. He kept rubbing the piece because it seemed so real.”
Aside from their value as conversation pieces, Nash’s work is collectible – something Gowdy knows firsthand.
“I own four pieces of Woodrow’s work,” Gowdy said. “When my daughters graduated college and got their own places, I gave each of them a Woodrow Nash piece to start their collections.”
In addition to his celebrity clients, working professionals have long been admirers of Nash’s work. Whether it’s an account executive from Arizona or an engineer from the East Coast, businesspeople flock to buy Nash’s startling lifelike pieces of art.
Jim Perkins, a retired business executive from Memphis, Tennessee, has purchased nine pieces from Nash over the past four years.
“My wife and I buy art that we can relate to and feel,” Perkins said. “Woodrow’s art captures and retains a personality, an attitude, a certain air.”
The chance to work with the likes of Robinson and Knowles didn’t happen overnight. Nash pulls his talents from years of experience in a variety of art forms. Beginning his career as a freelance artist in Akron, Ohio, Nash worked as an illustrator and painted murals for local institutions.
Nash moved to New York in 1975 to work as a fashion illustrator, where he also spent time designing and illustrating record albums for inner city labels that represented jazz legends such as Father Hines, Cat Anderson and Arnett Cobbs.
After years as a technical illustrator with Goodyear and a stint in Cleveland with American Greetings, Nash moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where he worked as a graphic artist. In 2002, Nash opened The Rage Gallery – a life long dream of his. Located in downtown Akron, Ohio, Nash’s hometown, The Rage Gallery houses his studio in addition to 2,000 square feet of gallery space.
“The Gallery lets me share my work with the people of this community, not just people all over the country,” Nash said. “I’ve always felt connected to Akron, so I never even considered opening my gallery anywhere else.
“Akron helped shape who I am and the pieces that I create, so this is a chance for me to give back to the community and share my love of art and the human form,” Nash continued.
Nash’s studio and gallery space are extensions of himself and his work. In his office area, books filled with photos of African art rest on shelves alongside a variety of plaques he has been awarded for his contributions to the art world. His entire studio space is lightly covered with a fine layer of dust that settles atop half painted vases and molds of African warriors.
The gallery itself is stunning in its display of incredible sculptures of men, women and children in a variety of poses and dress. The attention to intricate detail and the haunting realism of each piece is a tribute to Nash’s vision and creativity.
Whether it’s a businessman in Akron or a Grammy Award winner in California, Woodrow Nash’s sculptures offer a unique accent to complement every person’s individual taste.
For more information about Woodrow Nash and The Rage Gallery, visit www.theragegallery.com.
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