Collection: Willie Williams


1. What do you do when you’re not making art? (Day job etc...).

I own and operate an art gallery. I am also a welder by trade and I teach art at an elementary and middle school in Birmingham, AL.

2. Why do you make art?

Art for me is the medium through which I can simply release an emotion, cleanse, reconnect, tell a story, and even to challenge an idea or paradigm that exists in our society. I make art to learn more the things of the spiritual realm and to connect culturally with myself and others.

3. What inspires you?

Nothing is off limits in terms of inspiration. Natural elements in nature is the biggest, symbols and things of the spiritual world, as well as history and current cultural issues. All of these things inspire me to uncover the hidden layers and truths of our existence.

4. What/who are your influences?

Artistically my influences would be Martin Puryear, Laurie Anderson, Elizabeth Catlett, James Turrell, Picasso, Kehinde Wiley, Kara Walker, Theaster Gates and Carrie Mae Weems. In other areas of my life it would be my family, food (I’m an eater), and good music including Motown, J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Moonchild.

5. If you could meet anyone dead or alive who would it be?

James Baldwin - very deep and would love to sit under his wings and learn from his experience as an artist.

Read our interview with Willie Williams in the AllArtWorks Featured Artist Series here.