Acquaetta Williams’s art has been a life journey from glassblower to sculpture and now painter. Her inspiration evolved from vision of African Images to tell the story of African American Women in a sense of relevance in a complexity of her feelings, thoughts and memories. Williams reflects on her past to form an identity. She tells a story in assemblages of materials contained in Giraffe Neck Women, Women Who Carry and then into Timekeepers and Deconstructing Time: Memories. and now Faceless Melodies. Her love for art was cemented under instructor and well known artist Harvey Littleton at the University of Wisconsin. were she received a MFA degree. An Arts International Travel Grant that was awarded to her included travels through Benin in West Africa. She has exhibited her art Nationally, in Uncommon Beauty in Common Objects: The Legacy of African American Craft Art which included a tour throughout the United States, visiting 5 major museum, as well as International: the International Glass Exhibition, Kanazawa, Japan and “Color 2018”, Czong Institute for Contemporary Art, Gyeonggi, Korea.
Her work as glassblower has been acknowledged in the permanent collections of Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY, the Museum of Arts and Design in NY, Racine Art Museum, WI and the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, Wilberforce, Ohio.
Why Do I Create Art? To remind people of their humanity.
Throughout Acquaetta Williams’ art journey, she has worked in a variety of mediums: acrylic, glass, paper, canvas and wood. The materials are of a diverse nature, they are the surfaces as well as depths of renderings: forms, lines and shapes. There are also stories that emerge from these environments: stories about identity, love, compassion, anger, sensitivity and of being human.
Her art has been an assemblage of re-purposed materials, as in her series titled Deconstruction Memories where she utilizes roller skates, pocket watches, camera lenses and clarinets to create fragmented compositions of expressive lyrical movement. Explosions of saturated energy overpower the rigid stability of a rectangular space, establishing bold and shifting perspectives that constantly offer more to be discovered.
She creates a canvas surface like that of an aged, worn plaster wall; layers of papers of repeatedly glued announcements that are torn and weathered from sun, wind and rain, peeling away — exposed. This is the starting point of her process. This wall is obscured and hidden from the viewer. Her art is secretive and mysterious. She exposes the energy, richness and passion of the Faceless.
The collage paintings are made of diagonal, horizontal and vertical lines. Moon-shaped eclipses rotate counter-clockwise, woven together with worn, scribbled messages that keep the eye constantly moving. The reflective energy of vinyl plays to the illusion of shapeshifting through the tiniest of light; it moves and flickers refusing to settle down. The vinyl pulls the canvas away from the wall at the same time drawing the viewer in.
She manipulates the paper to increase density, to explode volume and texture. Its repetitive nature adds dimension and distinctive details; it complements a geometrical sense of balance. It offers a juxtaposition between meditative and aggressive, a bridge between brittleness and fluidity.
Faceless Melodies embody the street musician, the religious frantic and the homeless. Their voices echo emotional agitation and sensitivity, often through music. Balanced, repetitive curves reveal more physical form, gritty texture, and sharp bold color, while speaking to us with compassion and love. Who is orchestrating this music? “I am homeless.” Layered surfaces unzip and gently peel away, revealing the spiritual transformation — the heart and determination of individuals who have become invisible.