Artist Edwin Lockridge has been experiencing homelessness, dealing with art galleries being closed to COVID, and feeling the struggles of his father having dementia. But a bright spot is having his work displayed in the window of Woolworth Gallery on Nashville’s Avenue of the Arts, alongside other artists from the organization Poverty and the Arts.
“For over 50 years, I have walked this street,” says Lockridge. “I have admired artists from all over the world on this street.
To see my work in there where some of the greatest artists and works of art have been displayed is a privilege, not only historical significance of Fifth Avenue [recently renamed Rep. John Lewis Way], but the memories, personal memories for me, mean a lot.
I was born and raised here in Nashville.
I always tell people that I’m the second greatest artist in the world because my pop is the greatest.
“Father — when I was a little kid — would walk us up and down 5th Avenue here … and I would ask pop why his artwork was not in the windows.
He’d say ‘You’ll understand it one day better, by and by.’
During that time, it was not custom for African Americans to be featured in places. And again, for me to have my stuff in Woolworth window is indeed a blessing.
That one right there is called “Climb the Valley II.” I’m in a valley right now, spiritually, mentally and financially, I’m in a valley.
“We’re only — all could be only — a day or a paycheck away from being in poverty, or homeless, or in transition.
I’m working on me every day. I’m a work in progress and all I can say is wait till you see me now. I’ll tell anybody, I may be down, but I’m not out.”