Jody Wood is a New York-based artist using video, installation, performance, and community organization to engage with socially informed content. Jody is intrigued by interpersonal relationships – how they form, how they dissolve, and their delicate underpinnings. She approaches her artwork as an opportunity to explore this fascination and consequently has moved increasingly toward working directly with members of the public. In our conversation, we talk about her social practice art projects and about social issues of identity, behavior, and human connection and dignity, and how they are shaped by institutionally oppressive systems and social stigma.
Her project Beauty in Transition partnered with 18 transitional housing agencies in New York, Colorado, and Pennsylvania to establish a hair salon on wheels serving homeless populations. Elements of this project currently form part of the exhibition “All Together, Amongst Many: Reflections on Empathy” at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art. Choreographing Care, a project supporting care workers in anti-poverty support, started as a socially engaged art project and was adopted into an emergency shelter in Charlotte, North Carolina as an organizational initiative.
In 2014, she was the winner of a prestigious fellowship award for socially engaged art from A Blade of Grass in NYC. Her work has been honored with grant support from the New York Council for the Humanities, Brooklyn Arts Council, and the Rema Hort Mann Foundation. Her work has been exhibited internationally and featured in press such as The Atlantic, Hyperallergic, and MSNBC.