Uptown Watershed Mural | Art + Environment
Artist: Khara Woods
Most recent benchmark/update: Final design approved. Installation in-progress.
Upcoming benchmark/update: Mural dedication scheduled for October 18. Awaiting final design approval by PAOC (Public Art Oversight Committee) & ASC (Artist Selection Committee).
In 2019, Khara Woods met with Uptown residents, business owners, and city officials to discuss their environmental concerns. She found that litter was a major problem in the areas - in particular, trash collects at the large fenced-in stormwater drainage basins and flows into the river. Woods collected data on the volume and variety of litter, and studied its path into the waterway. This information was directly incorporated into her mural - a brightly-colored geometric pictograph, with water droplets and other icons representing the data. An interpretive sign explains these symbols, and provides information about the research. The mural is currently being installed on a MATA building that towers dramatically over the storm basins.
Woods’ mural was produced through the Art & Environment Initiative, a program that UAC launched in 2018, funded by a capacity building grant from Mural Arts Philadelphia. UAC partnered with Clean Memphis and MMDC (Memphis Medical District Collaborative) in the creation of two projects that use public art to address an environmental opportunity/situation in two neighborhoods: Uptown and Frayser. Khara Woods was selected to lead the project in Uptown, while artist Jamond Bullock was chosen to work with residents in Frayser.
About the Artist
Khara Woods is a graphic designer and artist from Memphis, Tennessee. Her work is largely inspired by geometric abstraction and pop art. Since 2015, she has created and collaborated on a number of murals and public art projects in Memphis, TN. Her latest murals and light installation can be seen at Cornelia Crenshaw Library in South City.