CAN Triennial Dealer Guide: Justin Woody

Justin Woody

Justin Woody is a Cleveland-based artist and actor, born and raised in Canton. He received a BFA in painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) in 2015. Justin has long been involved in plays and musicals in Canton and the Greater Cleveland area. Some of his favorite roles include Donkey in Shrek, the Musical at both Near West Theatre and Mercury Summer Stock in Cleveland; Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast and Snoopy in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown at the Canton Players Guild, where he was most recently cast as Gator in Memphis; and his upcoming lead role as Youth in Passing Strange, this summer at Cleveland’s Karamu House.

Woody recently completed his six-month artist residency at the new Praxis Fiber Workshop, where he worked with the beautifully talented Annmarie Suglio, and Jessica Pinsky. There, he continued to learn traditional weaving techniques using hair, jewelry, blunt raps, and clothing. In November, 2017, Justin opened NAPS, his first two-man show at Praxis, with fellow CIA graduate Marcus Brathwaite.

Weaving is an art that takes time, dedication, persistence, and a lot of repetition. In many ways it can be closely related to doing hair, especially the moments where I get stuck, places that need more time and more care to work through the rough patches. The materials I use are familiar objects in my life: grandma’s jewelry, blunt wraps and weave. Incorporating these materials within the weavings is what took the most time, combing through and stopping constantly (NAP).

When I think about the word NAPS, I think of black people and black hair: a stopping point that you work through to move on. NAPS is a word that is so unapologetically black that for me it goes beyond just hair. It is about the life of being black, struggles and liberties included. It is being a black man or a black woman, combing through life that has those challenges and those hardships that can be tough to work through at times. Once we get through those rough patches, those NAPS, the end result can be quite rewarding and fulfilling. That’s the magic that makes us so beautiful. —Justin Woody

Justin Woody

1630 Market Avenue North

Canton Ohio 44714