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Nicole Donnely

Tony Williams is a Cleveland based artist whose work has been shown in numerous local, national juried shows, and international shows. His most recent “Black Creativity” Chicago, IL, “Sankofa” 14th Annual African American Fiber Arts Exhibit, Charleston, SC, “About Body About Face” Cleveland Oh, “Paper on Skin”, exhibit 2020 Tasmania, Australia, 75th Ohio Annual Exhibition at the Zanesville Museum of Art ,“seenUNseen,” Cleveland Oh. Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion Fellow: Waterways to Waterways and “Contemporary Fibers”, National Juried Textile Exhibition in St. Augustine Historical Society St Augustine, FL, “Paper on Skin” 2018, exhibit Tasmania, Australia, "A Dialogue in Black and White", exhibit Charleston, SC. 

As a curator his first curated show “In the Beginning” African American Artisan exhibit 1998 Tri-C Eastern Campus Gallery Highland Hills, Oh and his latest  “The Ardent Thread”, 2020 Artists Archives of the Western Reserve Cleveland, Oh.

His public Art projects include The Year of the Horse, Year of the Sheep sculptures Asia Town Cleveland, Oh and The 100 Leaves sculptures Beachwood, Oh Tony is currently an artist in residence at the Morgan Conservatory working with Indigo on paper, and past recipient of a Karamu House- Room in the House artist residency.

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Artist Statement 

“Just feeling black and blue.” An exploration of Indigo and African surface design on handmade paper.

All artist go through a blue period, whether from depression or searching for an ethereal feeling, the depth of its color, to the feel the mood that blue evokes. And this is my exploration of the blues.

The blues run through my soul like my DNA my blue black skin glistening in the sunlight. As I stand on the auction block sold in to slavery for my knowledge of a plant and its deep blue color.

Indigo, known as the “Bluest of Blues” and the world’s most valued pigment, is nature’s rarest color. Derived from the Indigofera plant, Indigo is important in many spiritual and cultural aspects.

Indigo has been the foundation of centuries-old textile traditions throughout West Africa. In West African culture, Indigo symbolizes sacred associations. White is considered a connotation of serenity, insight and age, whereas blue evokes balanced brightness, richness and depth. The combination of blue and white. 

Paper is such a simple, utilitarian, everyday material. It begins with plant fibers cooked mashed and beaten in water, then scooped and poured, and left to dry. Most of us give it little thought as we use it every day.

And yet, in the hands of an artists, it is transformed, into works of art and wearable creations.

Just feeling black and blue.”

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