James Williams debut at Wilmington’s New Elements Gallery in May

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1. Making Maps: The Art of James Williams

Editor’s note: North Carolina artist James Williams creates vivid representations of cartography that are nearly impossible to ignore. I know first hand. When I worked at a weekly arts and entertainment magazine in Greensboro, his work was one of the first to catch my eye in that city flowing with talent. Imagine my delight when I realized this was the same James Williams I went to high school with in Winston-Salem so many years ago. James played football in college and decided to study art along the way. His vivid pieces are a delight to ponder, as the mind wanders along the lines and bits of color that rub one another and create patterns within shapes.

James and his young family have relocated to Wilmington, N.C., where he is now represented by New Elements Gallery. His debut exhibit there runs from May 25-June 16. Enjoy his work and follow him via www.jameswilliamsstudio.com.

His artist statement is below.

James Williams:

Human beings draw maps to document their understanding of what is known. In truth, maps are continuously morphing layouts of geographic landscapes, people, and ideas. In Making Maps: The Art of James Williams, the artist explores the world around him, creating graphic representations of his spatial reality: restaurants, amusement parks, the geometric patterns of trash, found objects, and more. This exploration is made through a series of works where Williams acts as a traveler, investigating different spaces through maps of dense, layered color, abstract paintings, ink, tape, paper-weaving, and graphite. Just as we settle into what is known, the artist leads us on to a new adventure, seeking new places to discover, inviting viewers to make maps of their own regardless of whether they feel lost or found. This show, Williams’ first museum show, is about possibilities and perspectives. It is about how each of us creates relational, physical, and emotional maps each day of our own choosing as we navigate our complicated interiors and exteriors.

Just as we settle into what is known, the artist leads us on to a new adventure, seeking new places to discover, inviting viewers to make maps of their own regardless of whether they feel lost or found.

2. Cartography Series No. 9

Cartography Series No. 9 “I’m not there Yet” 2015 Mixed Media on Canvas. Artist James Williams

3. Cartography Series No. 9

Cartography Series No. 9 “I’m not there Yet” 2015 Mixed Media on Canvas. Artist James Williams

4. Cartography Series No. 9

Cartography Series No. 9 “I’m not there Yet” 2015 Mixed Media on Canvas. Artist James Williams

5. Cartography Series No. 9

Cartography Series No. 9 “I’m not there Yet” 2015 Mixed Media on Canvas. Artist James Williams

6. Cartography Series No. 9

Cartography Series No. 9 “I’m not there Yet” 2015 Mixed Media on Canvas. Artist James Williams

7. Cartography Series No. 7

Cartography Series No. 7 “Lost and Found to Woven Possibilities” Mixed Media on Paper 2014. Artist James Williams

8. Cartography Series No. 7

Cartography Series No. 7 “Lost and Found to Woven Possibilities” Mixed Media on Paper 2014. Artist James Williams

9. Cartography Series No. 6

Cartography Series No. 6 “Making Maps” Mixed Media on Paper 2014. Artist James Williams.