UICA to Present Warm Water: New Works by Charles Williams

Posted November 7, 2018 in UICA

The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) has announced a major solo exhibition for January titled Warm Water: New Works by Charles Williams. The exhibition will run from January 11 - April 29, 2019, with an opening event scheduled for January 11 from 5:30 - 9:00 pm.

Warm Water is a collection of re-narrated visual works based on the event that sparked the Chicago Race Riot of 1919. These works unfold the story involving five Black teens, and what reportedly caused the death of Eugene Williams in Lake Michigan on the South Side of Chicago. The works document and shed light on the marginalizing oppositions the teens faced during the fragile height of racial sociopolitical conditions nationwide. Warm Water references the psychological racial constructs and the human state of the five teens during the event, as well as the paralleled combination of chemical/water properties when hot and cold elements are combined.

Charles Williams is a contemporary visual artist from Georgetown, SC, and holds a BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA and an MFA at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, NC. Creating compelling imagery in oils, video / film, and sound installations, Williams’s work investigates current, historical cultural events related to racism, and to suggestive stereotypes formed within individuals. His works define self–representation of human emotive responses that lie within cultural identity, and reveals tension to expose the complexities within our sociopolitical environments.

Warm Water is comprised of six bodies of work: "Separate and Equal," "The Raft of Hot and Cold," "Photosynthesis," "I Am," "Untitled (Hurling Rocks)," and "So Many Ways," and includes paintings, videos, and mixed-media works.

Painting of man in sunglasses yelling at the sky

(above): "Photosynthesis #1" by Charles Williams; (below): works from "Warm Water" by Charles willaims (images courtesy of the artist)

Black squares sitting on pedestals in an art gallery

Through Williams' visions, we are encouraged to engage in self-examination, to question false boundaries that separate us, and view the interconnections of our common existence.

Williams has attended summer artist residencies at Otis College of Art and Design (Los Angeles, CA), SOMA (Mexico City, Mexico), the Gibbes Museum (Charleston, SC), and the McColl Center for Art + Innovation (Charlotte, NC). Solo exhibitions include Swim: An Artist’s Journey at the Myrtle Beach Museum (Myrtle Beach, SC), SUN + LIGHT at Residency Art gallery (Inglewood, LA), Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See (Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC), and Swim at Morton Fine Art (Washington, DC). His work was also recently exhibited at Aqua and Scope Art Fair / Art Basel (Miami, FL). Group exhibitions include the Weatherspoon Museum (Greensboro, NC), the Mint Museum (Charlotte, NC), East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, TN), Tiger Strike Asteroid project space (Philadelphia, PA) and other national institutions.

Works have been reviewed in local and national publications and media, which include the Washington Post, NPR, and South Carolina’s ETV network (PBS affiliate). Permanent collections include the North Carolina Museum of Art (NC), the Gibbes Museum (SC), Knoxville Museum of Art (TN), and the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art (NJ). Williams also received the Riley Institute Diversity Leadership Award from the State of South Carolina for the development of enriching art programs within local communities

The exhibition is set to open to the public on January 11, 2019 with the artist present. Guests are welcome from 5:30 - 9:00 pm. Admission is $5 for the public, and free for UICA Members. Guests can enjoy a cash bar, light refreshments, and a first look at the works on view.

Artist standing in his studio and putting a brush to canvasCharles Williams (image courtesy of Charles Williams) 

UICA Members who would like a preview and closer look at the exhibition are encouraged to attend the January 10 Member Morning from 9 to 11 am. Guests will enjoy an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the galleries led by Miranda Krajniak, Executive Director, and will learn more about Warm Water, New Works by Charles Williams, and enjoy fresh coffee from Rowster.

Woman standing in an art gallery gesturing at the wall

Schedule: 9:00 am - 9:30 am: Meet in the UICA 5th Floor Loft presented by Herman Miller for coffee 9:30 am: Gallery tour begins with Miranda Krajniak.

Register (members-only) Registration and active UICA membership are required. Not a Member? Join now and take advantage of this members-only opportunity.

Man using art supplies in a classroom

Other Complementary Educational Events: February 1, 2019 First Friday Studio Nights: Pastel Portraits inspired by Warm Water  Between 6:00 - 9:00 pm

Browse the works on view as part of Warm Water, then head to The Studio between 6:00 - 9:00 pm to create a pastel portrait inspired by Charles Williams' paintings to take home. 

Studio activities are led by one of our rotating hosts, are family friendly, and are designed for all ages.

February 23, 2019 Family Day: Triptych Portraits + Storytellers Between 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Explore UICA's galleries as a family and discover new works by Charles Williams in his solo exhibition Warm Water. After, visit The Studio to learn about the different styles of portraiture, and make a triptych set of images that tell a story. Drop in anytime between 1:00 - 4:00 pm to play and create your own artwork to take home with you using with the materials available.