Visiting artist series resumes Feb. 14 with Bernard Williams
Sculptor, muralist and mixed-media artist Bernard Williams will visit CSU Monterey Bay as the spring semester’s Visiting Artist Series gets under way Feb. 14.
Williams investigates history, ethnology, archaeology and cartography in his works, which include canvases, sculptures and outdoor murals.
A Chicago native, he has degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University. He sees the United States as a place of conflict and convergence, fragmentation and sharing. In his work, he layers signs and symbols to speak to the complexities of history and culture.
His interest in history and mass culture is expressed in “Buffalo Chart,” an installation that uses a large collection of graphic signs and symbols cut from plywood to mimic museum-like displays.
“The material in the wall chart represents my ongoing research, which has taken place in archives, historical societies and museums in Mississippi, Louisiana, California, Arizona and New York, among others,” Williams said.
“The overlapping narratives of Native Americans, Hispanics, Africans, Europeans, Asians, Arabs, and others come together in a personal collection of material functioning as my private/public museum. My concern is to address cultural difference, flatten hierarchies, and question who we are collectively,” Williams said.
His art training was in painting. Then, influenced by the African-American murals he restored in Chicago and by his graduate school professor Chicago painter Ed Paschke, Williams' images started getting larger, more abstract, like African masks. Eventually, he became interested in symbols inspired by Native American, African and Egyptian cultures.
Williams’ presentation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the University Center Living Room. The University Center is located on Sixth Avenue near B Street.
Driving directions and a campus map are available here. The event is free, but visitors must purchase a parking permit from a dispenser on the University Center parking lot.
Information is available at 582-4337.
Top: Buffalo Chart
Bottom: Culture Cargo on the Water, 2006