Art for the Soul Gallery
Two friends, Stella Butler and Rosemary Tracy Woods, both passionate art advocates, decided to open a gallery at the site of the former Classical High School. The fabulously refurbished residential condominium served as the original home for Art for the Soul Gallery. A second gallery location was opened in downtown Springfield at Tower Square in late 2015.
From these two locations, Rosemary Tracy Woods, Executive Director, and Billy Myers, Artistic Director and Chief Curator, have brought some of this country’s most renowned artists of color to the attention of Springfield’s art loving community. Historically, artists of color and particularly African American artists have been missing from America’s museums and galleries. “Among the 18 major US art museums, 85% of the artists are white and 87% are men.”*
Ms. Woods’ specializes in contemporary African American art and the art of the Harlem Renaissance; recent exhibits at Art for the Soul Gallery include the work of Frank Frazier, Larry “Poncho” Brown, Paul Goodnight, Dane Tilghman, and Richard Roy.
Art for the Soul Gallery was created to provide a venue where the work of artists representing all cultures can exhibit and sell their work. We are committed to promoting the work of emerging local artists; educating the community through high-quality classes and workshops for adults and children; and inspiring appreciation and advancing understanding of the achievements, contributions, and experiences of these talented artists.
Ms. Woods believes art has real power. One of her signature achievements was an exhibition by Dr. Imo Nse Imeh (November 6, 2015–January 16, 2016), entitled Ten Little Nigger Girls: A Works-in-Progress, Open Studio Exhibition and the ensuing community conversations about race. Record-breaking attendance and the collaboration of area college and university art departments as well as the Healing Racism Institute of the Pioneer Valley underscored her belief and proved the truth of her vision.
*Results from a recent study conducted by a group of statisticians, mathematicians and art historians from Williams College.