Angela Williams

My work explores the beauty and relationships to African art, culture, fragments, symbols, and markings.

I always knew I wanted to be an artist. My creative journey began very early. My mother was a highly creative person and supported my interest in the arts. Dance classes, music lessons, art museums, and plays filled our weekends. Those memories fill my heart and keep me going—she inspired me to be a free spirit and follow my dreams.

My love of the African aesthetic and deep desire to connect with my ancestral creative heritage intuitively guides my creative journey. My work explores the beauty and meaning of symbols and patterns. Recreating and reconstructing a visual narrative that celebrates and explores a lost connection to my ancestry is at the heart of my work. From my earliest watercolor portraits of Africans and African-Americans to the abstract reconstructions of patterns and symbols, the central theme of my art is discovering the African diaspora.

A central element of my creative process is music. As a child, our home was filled with the sounds Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Nancy Wilson, Chicago, Elton John and Carlos Santana to name a few. Jazz and hip hop has the greatest influence on my work. I have a deep connection to the avant-garde and improvisational approach. The flowing rhythms invite me to connect to and express the African spirit.
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Education + Career:

Graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, BFA Visual Communications
Board Member, Evanston Arts Council

Deputy Director of Creative
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago