Focus on Autism Spectrum Disorders: Annual Symposium and Art Show Features Winchester Artist John M. Williams
Winchester artist, John M. Williams, announces his participation in an upcoming exhibition that will begin April 1, 2015 and run through April 30, 2015 at Lesley University. The exhibition entitled 3 Artists, including art by Jessica Park and J. B. Finnerty, coincides with the start of Autism Awareness Month and is part of Lesley University’s annual event featuring artists with autism. The opening reception will be held April 11, 2015 from 5-8 pm in the Atrium Gallery. It is free and open to the public. (Graduate School of Education, 1815 Massachusetts Avenue, 2nd Floor)
Williams, an exceptional artist and speaker, relates his artistic process as a metaphor for living with autism. He will be speaking at Lesley University on April 11, 2015 at 2:00 pm at the University Hall Amphitheater, 2nd floor, along with J. B. Finnerty and Dr. Anthony Gengarelly, Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
Describing his artistic process in creating collages, Williams says: "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 fragmented 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 subjects felt, I get more in touch with my own."
Williams will be discussing his process beginning with intense research to understand his subject's character, followed by using hundreds of small pieces of cut paper to bring to life striking subjects full of emotion. Interesting background vignettes that pertain to the subject’s story often surround the portraits. Most of his subjects are historical, ranging from Egyptian pharaohs to Civil War generals to American presidents. He tells the story of the War in the Pacific through the soldier's eyes or the history of Iran through the eyes of the last Shah. He considers his work a visual way of teaching history.
Williams is excited to share his exhibition during Autism Awareness Month in hopes to bring to the forefront people living successfully with autism. "I hope my artwork can inspire others with autism to focus on their strengths and develop their creative talents. I never imagined I could produce art people would value or learn to speak in public. If I can do it, so can others with encouragement and support."
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. His work has been shown in New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Pennsylvania, and Florida. He is featured in a recent book, Drawing Autism, published by Akashic Books in April 2014. For details on purchasing or commissioning art with Williams, please visit his website at johnmwilliamsfineart.com.
For details about the exhibition at Lesley University, please visit http://www.lesley.edu/EventDetail.aspx?id=20822 or contact Elizabeth Stringer Keefe (firstname.lastname@example.org).