John Williams: Sculpture and Drawings

Sep 4th - Sep 27th, 2009

John Williams joined The Clay Studio’s Resident Artist program in 2007 shortly after being awarded a two month residency at Cité International des Arts in Paris France. In 2009, John received an Emerging Artist Award from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) and was featured at their 2009 conference in Phoenix, AZ. After receiving his BA in Leadership Studies from University of Richmond, Williams found his interests focusing in on creative expression. He received an MFA from Bowling Green State University in 2001 and has been working, exhibiting and teaching ceramics ever since.

A “continual tourist” Williams grew up steps from The Clay Studio in a home on Elfreth’s Alley surrounded by people from every culture as they explored Philadelphia, maps in hand for guidance. Williams has had an interest in mapping for as long as he can remember, but did not truly discover his passion for creative expression until he found a stash of land maps in a dumpster. His love of cartography combined with the simple act of “salvaging the land” inspired a body of work that poignantly reveals an awareness of environmental trends and challenging cultural dynamics.

Williams Commodities Series features pristine earthenware landscapes combined with singular wind turbines, nuclear cooling towers, and other energy- related structures cast in precious metal. The pieces effectively question our notions of land value and use by combining high- and low-value materials. The Projection Series is a rhythmic study of the art and design of cartography; Williams describes it as "layering information to show relevance and dependence."