"Cool Thicket I" 2022, acrylic and mixed media on panel, 5" x 5"
"Cool Thicket II" 2022, acrylic and mixed media on panel, 5" x 5"
"Dark Interval III" 2022, acrylic and mixed media on panel, 12" x 24"
"Dark Patch" 2022, acrylic and mixed media on panel, 5" x 5"
"Dark Patch II" 2022, acrylic and mixed media on panel, 5" x 5"
"Hickory Run" 2022, acrylic and mixed media on panel, 5" x 15"
"Interval III" 2022, acrylic and mixed media on four panels, 12" x 48"
"Journey North I" 2022, acrylic and mixed media on panel, 5" x 10"
"Redwoods" 2021, acrylic and mixed media on panel, 24" x 48"
"Untitled" 2022, acrylic and mixed media on panel, 5" x 5"
"Untitled (Gold)" 2023, acrylic and mixed media on panel, 24" x 72"
"Untitled (Green)" 2023, acrylic and mixed media on panel, 24" x 72"
"West Park" 2020, acrylic on frosted mylar, 19.75" x 17"
"Mid-Stream" 2022, mixed media on panel, 24"x48"
 "Autumn" 2021, acrylic on paper, 12" x 48"
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Member Portfolio

Michael Williamson

Merion Station, PA

Résumé

Artist Statement

Speak Memory is the title of an evocative memoir written by Vladimir Nabokov. It is a sensualist's recollection of his early childhood through the distilled, self-award perspective of the adult novelist.

It is through the lens of memory and feeling that these landscapes emerge. Although I might draw or photograph a place that is interesting to me as a reference, these paintings; their light, color and tactile surface are about feeling, memory, dream, remembrance, and forgetting.

Are these specific places? Yes. They existed, evolved in my mind as I painted them in the studio, and they exist as real places as works of art. They are as truthful as any experience distilled by circumstance, time, weather, material, and selective memory. They are my fact and fiction.

These are constructed from paper, mylar, older paintings, prints, and collograph plates. They are intentionally artificial, busy and full of movement. Formally the paintings celebrate patin, surface, light and color.

Most recently I've been reading The 1619 Project, Nicole Hannah-Jones, The Brutish Museums, Dan Hicks, and Caste, Isabel Wilkerson and this has informed my subconscious about the forced journey my ancestors made to the Americas. In my mind these current constructed paintings trace a journey to freedom from West Africa, South Carolina, and Virginia. The land of my ancestors is the land of savage beauty.

"I am the dream and the hope of the slave." Maya Angelou

Michael Williamson, 2023

Artist Biography

Michael Williamson is a practicing artist living in the Philadelphia area. He has been a teacher of Studio Art and Art History at independent schools in the Delaware Valley and California. Williamson is a graduate of Yale University and Bard College.

Williamson is currently a lecturer and Senior Instructor of Adult Education at the Barnes Foundation.

During the early part of the pandemic the Barnes created Barnes Take-Out, short presentations by curatorial and the education department staff available on YouTube to keep art, ideas, and the Barnes Foundation present in the minds of the public. Michael created content for The Baule Door in Context and West African Art at the Barnes Foundation, Chaim Soutine: Flayed Rabbit that was the lead-in to the exhibition Conversations in Paint: Chaim Soutine and WillemDeKooning.

Williamson has developed course content and taught Color Theory, Watercolors of Cezanne, Charles Demuth and Paul Klee, Painting and Photography, Art and Literature of the Harlem Renaissance, The Great Migration, Matisse and Color, Great French Painting: School of Paris, Order and Invention (systems of perspective, proportion, and pictorial organization) as well as lectures on Paul Seurat’s The Models, Cezanne’s Card Players, Picasso and Cubism, Picasso Infinite Invention: Acrobat and Young Harlequin and Girl with a Goat, Horace Pippin: Two Americas, One White, One Black, Separate and Unequal, Matisse and Modernism, CharlesDemuth: The Perfect Moment, and Charles Demuth: American Precisionist.

Educational Experience

Bard College, Milton Avery Graduate School of Fine Arts, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, M.F.A. in Painting

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, B.A., cum laude

Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fall term abroad in Rome, Italy

Awards

Fallingwater Residency, Mill Run, PA

Art Fellow Residency, Skidmore College

Milton and Sally Avery Scholarship, Bard College

Yale Summer School of Music and Art, Norfolk, Connecticut

Philadelphia Board of Education Scholarship In the amount of $2,000 towards four years of college tuition

Publications

Studies in Education, Germantown Friends School, Summer 2007 #93 "The GFS Campus: Growth and Change"

Studies in Education, Germantown Friends School, Summer 2004, #87, "Art Matters"

Studies in Education, Germantown Friends School, Spring 1996, #71, “Nazi Rally, Czechoslovakia, 1938

Academic Forum, Spring 1995, book review, "Makes Me Wanna Holler" Nathan McCall, Random House 1994

Academic Forum, Fall 1994, book review, "Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong" William Kirkpatrick, Simon and Shuster 1992

Healthy Choices Healthy Schools: The Residential Curriculum, chapter entitled

Minority Faculty”, Avocus Publishing, Inc. 1992

Friends Journal, October 1983, "South Africa"

Georgian, vol. 54, #5, December 1983, "A Work Camp Reaches Africa"

Exhibits

2023

Three Person Show, Cosmopolitan Club, Philadelphia, PA

2022

Group Show, Media Arts Council, Media, PA

Small Works, Group Show Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, NY

2021

Small Works, Group Show, Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, NY

2019

Group Show, Imperfect Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2018

Solo Show, Imperfect Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2019

Group Show, Imperfect Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2016

Solo Show, Cathedral Village, Philadelphia, PA

2013

Faculty Show, Foulkeways, Gwynedd, PA

2009, 2011, 2017

Solo Show, High Point Café, Philadelphia, PA

2007

Group Show, JMS Gallery, Chestnut Hill, PA

2006

Two-Person Show, JMS Gallery, Chestnut Hill, PA

2005

Small Works Show, Rosenfeld Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Works on Paper, Group Show, Beaver College, Glenside, PA

Employment

2019 - Present

The Barnes Foundation, Adult Education Instructor, Lecturer

Horace Pippin: Two Americas: One White, One Black Separate and Unequal

Alain Locke: Herald of the Harlem Renaissance

Matisse and Modernism

Charles Demuth: American Precisionist

Charles Demuth: The Perfect Moment

The Baule Door in Context– available on YouTube

Benin Bronzes at the Barnes Foundation

Chaim Soutine – available on YouTube

Cézanne: The Card Players

Picasso and Cubism

Picasso: Acrobat and Young Harlequin and Girl with a Goat

Coursework

Watercolor: Paul Cézanne, Charles Demuth, Paul Klee

Discover the Barnes: African Art at the Barnes Foundation

Introduction to Color Theory

Matisse and Color

Order and Invention: Perspective, Proportion, Composition

Art and Literature of the Harlem Renaissance

Painting and Photograph

2018 - 2019

The Oxbow School, Head of School

1990-2018

Germantown Friends School, Studio Art, Art History, Administration

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