View Historically Significant Collages Created by Autistic Artist John Williams
John Williams Fine Art will be appearing in Fort Myers, on January 16, 2015 at 6 p.m. through Friday, February 6th, the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center during Art Walk: The work of John M. Williams. Opening night offers guests the opportunity to see the work of this cut paper collage portrait artist who focuses on historical portraits, such as Lincoln or Lee. Williams’ collages offer insights about the subjects and help tell their interesting stories. At 7 p.m., February 10th, Williams will be appearing at Art Talk Tuesday, offering guests the chance to learn about the inspiration and process behind his exhibited work, and to find out how the process of creation assists him with channeling his energies as an artist who lives with autism. Williams’ work will be exhibited at the Art Center through Tuesday, February 24. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First Street, in the downtown Fort Myers River District. For tickets or information, please visit www.sbdac.com or call 239-333-1933.
"The world for me is a chaotic place. Thoughts and images swirl around endlessly in my head. Art allows me to channel my energy, organizing many disparate elements into a unified and coherent image. By marrying my artistic vision with my passion for history, I seek to present a new perspective on my subjects. Their eyes are the focus of my work, usually looking directly at the viewer—something that is hard for me to do in real life. Through exploring the emotions I imagine my sitters felt, I get more in touch with my own," said Williams.
Williams will be discussing his process of starting a piece where he first researches his topics and then creates his portrait collages using hundreds of small pieces of cut paper that collectively bring to life striking subjects full of emotion. Interesting background vignettes that pertain to the subject’s story or topic often surround the portraits. Williams has a special interest in the U.S. Civil War; however, he works with other worldwide historical topics and people such as the War in the Pacific told through the soldier's eyes or the history of Iran told through the eyes of the last Shah. Williams spends significant time researching his subjects in order to better understand their character. This insight is unveiled in his collages such as through the worn face of Lincoln and through the glowing mother's love in Sacagawea.
Williams earned a Bachelor Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell in 2008. He was originally trained as a sculptor but later transitioned to collage. For Williams, working with collage is a metaphor for living with autism. Williams is currently a resident of Massachusetts. His work has been shown in New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and New England. He is featured in a new book, Drawing Autism, published by Akashic Books in April 2014.
Dates and times of the exhibit are below.
Opening Night Friday, February 6
6 p.m.-10 p.m.
Exhibit ends on Tuesday, February 24
Art Talk Tuesdays:
Art Talk Tuesday’s are new this season at the art center and offer the audience an in depth look at the exhibiting artist and what inspires the artist to create. This monthly event takes place the first Tuesday following Art Walk.
John M. Williams Talk
Tuesday February 10
7 p.m.-9 p.m.
Admission free for Art Center members