William Wilkerson: ILLUMINATIONS

The paintings, drawings, and digital imagery that make up this exhibit are all bound thematically by the concept of light. Each piece of artwork in this exhibit seeks to highlight the desire to create a lasting legacy through positively affecting and influencing others to search for their own light.

Artist Statement

During three decades of teaching experience, primarily in Orange County Public schools, I took note of issues that existed in the lives of my students. I was motivated to inspire my students to be their best selves and rise above anything that kept them from achieving their goals. My current series of paintings and drawings were essentially created to start a narrative about the impact of our inner thoughts, and manifest attitudes within the milieu of social climate and culture.

My artwork is inspired by the concept of light, an idea which is both revelatory and guiding; while its central notion is to chase away darkness and facilitate the growth of wisdom and awareness. I used visual imagery to convey those concepts in my illustrated children’s book, The Light In My Room.

The illustrations for the book are a series of colored pencil drawings centered around the embodiment and cultivation of positive character attributes, intended to invoke the elements of greatness existing within each of us. The Light In My Room attempts to amplify the positive effects of the light we possess both internally and externally. The goal was to enhance the enlightenment of the viewer, while countering the virulent influences of darkness and negativity.

I am a contemporary realist artist, whose primary subjects for painting are derived from observations of people in a variety of social settings. Through my training at the Atlanta College of Art (currently the Savannah College of Art), The Center for Creative Studies, National University, and Georgia State University I have been influenced by the works of the Old Masters, such as Titian, Rembrandt, DaVinci, and William Bouguereau. Additionally, I have taken note of other Contemporary Masters such as Norman Rockwell, Benjamin O’Tanner, Ralph Goings, and Chuck Close, just to name a few. Aside from utilizing traditional artistic mediums and techniques, I am currently exploring the art of painting within a digital platform using an iPad. My artwork over the last twenty years has been an eclectic mix of artistic styles, techniques, and subject matter. I feel that the work has afforded me the opportunity to embark on an explorational journey in which I have taken note of and respond artistically to an infinite spectrum of human emotions and experiences.

It is my hope, through this current work, to enhance awareness and stimulate a conversation about the need for empathy, compassion, and understanding.

On exhibit at West Charleston Library from December 21, 2023 through March 12, 2024

Gallery reception on Sunday February 4, 2024 from 2 pm to 3:30 pm

Monday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Tuesday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Wednesday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Thursday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Friday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Saturday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Sunday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM