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Brown Bag Series: From Sonora to Sahara: Phyllis Woods in Mali


PHYLLIS WOODS, longtime Tucson resident, looks back on her career as an American pioneer in importing African arts from Mali, West Africa. She has supported its artisans by developing products there, suited for the suited for the American marketplace.

Phyllis has focused on her passion for African trade beads and traditional Fulani (Perl) jewelry. In addition to jewelry, she imports textiles, sculpture and other home decor. She is an accomplished jewelry designer.  

Phyllis will play recordings of famous Malian music, along with her slide show of her photos over the years traveling in Mali. She will exhibit examples of Malian art and provide products for sale at the event.  A portion of those proceeds will be donated to Mali.

Phyllis received her BA and MA in Anatomy and Physiology from Indiana University and later studied jewelry-making in Tucson. In addition to design consultancies in Africa, her designs have been featured in US galleries, museum stores, exhibitions, upscale boutiques and in print. She divides her time between Tucson, where her studio/gallery, Tribalinks, is located, and New York, where she exhibits her imports and designs at national trade shows. She travels regularly to West Africa and Morocco.