Alumnus and artist Markeith Woods will present his exhibit, “Live or not to Live, that is the Question” at the John Brown Watson Memorial Library on UAPB’s campus. The free, public event will be held Thursday, May 10 with an opening reception at 3:00 p.m.
Woods says his work is an inspired narrative of life where people demonstrate love, respect, compassion, agony, oppositions, confidence, and death.
“I am a perceptual artist,” Woods said. “Through observation, I aim to re-create my personal experiences by using symbols, words, images and emotions that are familiar. When faced with life’s challenges and confronting pain it drives out the imperfection that we face such as oppression, health disparities, and social issues, unemployment, and other issues. These emotions are an inspiration for my work.”
Woods paints the faces in his artwork red, yellow, and orange to show a strong will that has been built up over the course of time. Time is the only thing the figures in his work can’t change but they can change themselves and the things around them in the right moment in life. The lines in the skin tones reminds him of his grandmother that it is important to take advantage of time and not let life stop us from confronting our destiny.
“It is only at this point my subjects have an opportunity to find their true identity also one’s talent or gifts,” Woods said. “These qualities are portrayed through the use of clouds, dark, cool colors, and vibrant colors to create a conceptual approach in my paintings. Mostly, I use primary colors to express the raw emotions and the struggles that my subjects encounter, which makes them strong.”
Recently, Woods’ attention is focused on the eyes. Currently, he is experimenting with garments, crowns, and composition to draw viewers eyes close to the sitter’s character. By doing so, Woods says he can identify with their experiences and goals to dramatize their state of mind in a new and abstract way.
“I paint family members, friends, famous people, and strangers. From this, it gives me a sense of awareness and adds a personal dimension to my work,” Woods said. “I paint because it moves me spiritually. Painting is a sense of worship to me and transports me to a place of peace. Faith has motivated my work. Painting allows me to express myself fully and is my therapy and salvation.”
A native of Pine Bluff, Markeith Woods is a 2014 graduate from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with a Bachelor of Science in Visual Arts. After graduating from UAPB, he attended the Memphis College of Art in 2015 for a year where he studied painting and drawing. Aside from being an artist, Woods is an art educator and has worked at the Arts & Science Center in Pine Bluff as an assistant educator where he gave tours and gained experience with organizing educational classes. This led him to an opportunity to substitute teach at Lighthouse Academy Carter School where he was responsible for providing classroom learning and activities to students in kindergarten through 6th grade. Within his five years of college experience, Woods has been very involved in art competitions and community projects. Now an art teacher at James Matthews Elementary School, he aspires to use and share his experiences to help people develop a winning attitude about life.
For more information about the event, please contact Shenise McGhee at (870) 575-8896.