Lifetime Achievement 2024

Lifetime Achievement: An individual who has dedicated their life to the arts and achieved distinction within the community. The award recognizes an individual artist, arts manager, advocate or other who has strengthened arts and culture in the community through decades of service.


Woodrow Nash is a son of Akron. His art reflects more than his upbringing as a child in the late forties; it reflects the soul of his ancestors. When looking at his art, one can see the spirit, strength, and resilience of the African Diaspora. His work in various mediums underscores many years of development and training in honing his craft. He is meticulous in his artistic details and pours years of research of authentic renderings into his sculptures.  

Nash’s works are displayed worldwide and have garnered the attention of local collectors, superstars, and world leaders: His work was displayed in Beyonce’s “Black is King” video series. Yet he remains humble and utilizes his artistic experience to encourage up-and-coming artists.  

He received an Associate of Commercial Arts degree in 1977 from Pels Art School in New York City and—after stints as a freelance artist, fashion illustrator, graphic designer, and other artistic jobs — he returned home to open his gallery. Stamped as African Nouveau, his art connects ancestral history with a continuum of beauty, strength, pain, and power. The combination of materials used in his sculptures moves the viewer into a sensual state of being with his pieces.  

Nash is the sculptor for the Sojourner Truth statue at the Sojourner Truth Legacy Plaza in Akron, a nationally significant historic site that will be unveiled on May 29, 2024. For more information visit 

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