Enter Exit Enter

Artist’s Statement

Enter Exit Enter

Enter Exit Enter is an exploration of faith and the human condition.  We are born, we live, we die, and our spirits travel.  Although very small in its physical appearance, the dash in between one’s birthdate and date of death is arguably the most significant symbol on a tombstone representing the life of the departed.  This exhibition presents a display of work that discusses the journey of life, death, and faith.

My VU artice: Vanderbilt Divinity School Highlights Works by Nashville Portrait Artist Donna Woodley for Black History Month

Donna Woodley is a visual artist whose works primarily discuss the relationship between Black culture and American culture. The figure in her paintings is confrontational towards the visibility and value of black people within American society, both historically and contemporarily. The exploration of the human condition and the importance of every individual’s story is what primarily represents the themes of Donna’s work. A significant part of her process involves the enlistment of men and women that she knows, including herself. This allows her to evaluate the complexity of human emotions and relationships and to render the figure accordingly. Informed by stereotypes, cultural similarities and differences, perceptions of beauty, mental health, and esteem, Donna’s work often uses a touch of humor to potentially open the door for healthy dialogue.

Donna was named Nashville’s Best New Artist in 2016 by the Nashville Scene publication and has continued down a path of success. Some of her most recent works are housed at Vanderbilt University and University of Tennessee at Martin, TN.  As a professor of art at currently at Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN, she has served integrally helping to develop students technically and introducing them to understanding how to critically think about the work they make. She resides in Nashville, TN, and is ecstatic about her future as a maker. Learn more on the artist’s website.

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