Bio & CV

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Carl Joseph Williams was born in Uptown New Orleans (b.1970). Art was Williams’ first love. At fourteen he was accepted into The New Orleans Center for Creative Art ( NOCCA) where he received his formal training. Upon completing high school, Williams continued his studies at the Atlanta College of Art. In Atlanta, Williams flourished in his craft; graduating in 1994, produced solo exhibitions, participated in several group exhibitions and completed several public art projects.

Williams’ work has been displayed in several venues throughout the United States, including Journeys, an installation at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Williams’ Sculptural Trees installation on the median of Veterans Boulevard.

In 2013, Williams’s had a solo exhibition at the George Ohr Museum in Biloxi, Mississippi and was a recipient of the Joan Mitchell NOLA Studio Artist Residence Program.   Also, Williams was selected to participate in the 2014 Crystal Bridges State of the Art Discovering exhibition.My work has evolved into a multiplicity of visions, directions, and intuitive gestures. The paintings, installations, and sculptures I create are a product of recalled images of cumulative life experiences. Various forms of music, as well as the rhythm of people, and places assist in the creating and molding of the character of my work.

I see my art and music as extensions of each other. I often use music as a model by incorporating its structure, rhythms, and dynamics elements into each piece; emerging into a new realm of experience.
Objects are also a very important part of the creation and aesthetic of my art. Found objects are a continuum of a narrative flowing through the work, becoming elements of a story intricately woven into a work of art, in order to create a new meaning and new context, in an attempt to display in the layers the images interrelationship of cosmic forces and every-day. This search for universality continues to drive and inform my work.

Aesthetics of the work involves many complex color combinations and rhythmic patterns inspired by geometric patterns found in nature. Rhythms and harmonies converge into a symphony of colors that work together to create a powerful visual experience.
It is my vision to create pieces that bring a since of intrigue, color and excitement while addressing the physiological and historical concerns of everyday people.


Carl Joe Williams


Born, 1970 New Orleans LA. USA

Lives and works in New Orleans LA.



Atlanta College of Art, Atlanta, GA.

The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, New Orleans, LA


Solo Exhibitions


2017      “Sacred Blues and Old Stories”5 Press Street Gallery, New Orleans LA.

2014      “Viral Realities”, Staple Goods Gallery New Orleans LA.

2013      “Shades of PerceptionOhrO’Keefe Museum Of Art Biloxi, MS

In the Beginning….There was no Beginning” The Front Gallery, New

Orleans LA

Rhythmic Souls” Delgado Community College, New Orleans, LA

2012      “Fractured Souls” The Front Gallery, New Orleans LA.

Soul Searcher” M Francis Gallery, New Orleans LA.

2010      “Synesthesia: A Blending of the Senses” McKenna Museum of African

American Art, New Orleans LA.

2002    “Coded Memories”, Hammonds House Galleries, Atlanta, GA

2000     “Visual Poetry”, Swan House Coach Gallery, Atlanta, GA

1997     “Carl Joe Williams“Modern Primitive Galley, Atlanta, GA

1990     “Journeys” Gallery 100 Atlanta College of Art, Atlanta, GA



Group Exhibitions


2014     “State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now” Curator

Don Bacigalupi and Chad Alligood, exhibition traveled to

2016       Jepson Center, Telfair Museums, Savannah, GA.

Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis MN

2017       Dixon Gallery and Gardens Memphis, TN

Mint Museum,Charlotte NC.

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN

2016     “Antenna at Govenors Island NYC” New York NY

Nola Conceptual” New Orleans Arts Center, New Orleans LA

Controls and Counter Reactions,”Antenna Gallery, New

Orleans, LA

curator Carl Joe Williams

Collectively Building New Histories” Artist and a Sense of Place Residency

Program, Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Wetlands Art Tour Exhibition”, Ashé Cultural Arts Center New

Orleans, LA

2015     “Loren Ipsum” Southern Methodist University, Pollock Gallery Dallas TX

curator Cameron Shaw

“Group Exhibition” Drawl Gallery of Southern Contemporary

Art. Little Rock AK

Reverb Past Present and Future” New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center,

New Orleans LA. curator Isolde Brielmaier

Louisiana Contemporary” Ogden Museum of Southern Art, curator Brooke

Davis Anderson

Level Artist Collective, Antenna Gallery, New Orleans, LA

10 years later: A Black Perspective at Stella Jones”, Stella Jones Gallery,

New Orleans LA

Cynthia Scott, Carl Joe Williams, and John Isiah Walton”, The Front

Gallery, New Orleans LA.

2014     “Pass it On”, Tribute to John Scott, McKenna African American Museum of Art,

New Orleans LA

Synestesia”, Treo Gallery, New Orleans LA.

Reperations” New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orlean

curator Diego Cortez

Convergence” Joan Mitchell Studios, New Orleans LA. curator Dr. Deborah


Face of the Enemy” Second Story Gallery, New Orleans LA.  curated John

Isiah Walton

28 days later”The Front Gallery New Orleans LA

Homeless”  Treo Gallery   New Orleans LA

Fusion” Negrotto’s Galley Biloxi

Xhibiting Blackness ”Evolve the gallery, Sacramento CA.

2013     “Emerging Artist Retrospective” Swan House Coach Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Mixed Messages.3” Antenna Gallery, New Orleans LA.

2012     “Home Space Gallery”Anniversary Show” Home Space Gallery New Orleans


Bruce Davenport’s Group Exhibition”, Home Space Gallery, New Orleans,


2011    “Salon Des Refuses”, Trouser House, New Orleans, LA

“Pop up exhibition” Barrister Gallery, New Orleans, LA

NOLA Art Now”, New Orleans Center for Contemporary Art, New Orleans, LA

Black Art Now”, M. Francis Gallery, New Orleans, LA

2005    “Forward Arts Foundation”, Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta,


1998    “Altered Beliefs”African American Aesthetics in Contemporary Art”, City

Gallery East Atlanta, GA curator Eddie Granderson

1996    “Sampling: Following an Insistent Beat”, King Plow Art Center, Atlanta, GA

1995    “Message From the Everyday World”, Arts Festival of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA

1994    “The Atlanta Biennial”, Nexus Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA

News Blues”, New Orleans Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

Language of Force”, City Gallery East, Atlanta, GA

1993    “Journeys”, Gallery 100, Atlanta, GA

Young, Black, and Male”, The North Carolina Center for the

Advancement of Teaching, Cullowhee, North Carolina

Love/Anger”, Arts Festival of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA

Space One Eleven”, Birmingham, AL

The National Black Arts Festival”, The Arts Exchange, Atlanta, GA

1992    “An Artist Response to the Discovery of the New World”, Agnus Scott College

Dalton Gallery,

Atlanta, Ga.

1991    “Black Image/Reality”, New Vision Gallery, Atlanta, GA

1992     “New Blues” New Visions Gallery, Atlanta GA.

1987    “NOPS at NOMA”, Museum of Art, New Orleans,


1987     “Arts for Arts Sake” Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans LA.



Public Art


2016    The Music Box Roving Village” Luna Fete New Orleans Airlift

New Orleans LA

 2013    “Journeys”, Mercy Housing 15’x18’ Sacramento California


2011    “Sculptural Trees”, 15’ to 18’ Sculptural Trees, Jefferson Parish Street Works

Dept., Jefferson, LA

2002   “Journeys”, 14’ x 12’ Installed at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International

Airport .relief sculpture/mural. Commission by: Department of Aviation

2002    “Community Quilt”, 11’ x 4’ Installed in the Washington Park Natatorium in

Atlanta GA. Commission by: Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs


“Roots of a Legacy”, 22’ x 6’ Installed at the Washington Park Tennis Center in

Atlanta GA.

Reverse engraved stainless steel sheets with colored patinas.

  Commission by: Atl. Bureau of Cultural Affairs


1996    “Olympic Rings” ,Installed at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Designed and executed sculpture in honor of the 1996 Centennial Olympic

Games held in Atlanta GA. Commission by: Coca Cola Company




City of Atlanta

Crystal Bridges Museum of Art

Department of Aviation, Atlanta, GA

Disney Corporation, Atlanta, GA

King and Spalding Law Firm, Atlanta, GA

City of New Orleans

Jefferson Parish LA





2016       “Artist and a Sense of Place Residency Program”, Ogden Museum of Southern

Art, New Orleans LA

2013       Joan Mitchell NOLA Studio Residency, New Orleans LA

2006       Artists’ Fellowship Inc., New York; Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation,

New York, NY

2005       The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York, NY

1999       1st Annual Forward Arts Foundation; Encouragement Award, Atlanta GA

1998       Artist in Residency, Brandywine, Philadelphia, PA





2017      John D Addario Carl Joe Williams Sacred Blues and Old Stories at 5 Press

Gallery” The New Orleans Advocate


2017      Susan Langenhennig “CCH Pounder of NCIS: New Orleans turns a downtown

condo into her own personal art showcase” New Orleans Times Picayune


2017      Allison Meier “Exploring the New Orleans Village Where You Can Play the

Buildings” Hyperallergic


2017      Jen Kinney “New Orleans Take on Real Estate Loaded Terms” www.Next


2017      Edward C. Robinson III” ‘State of the Art’ at Dixon Gallery and Gardens”

The Commercial Appeal

2016      Rosemary Reyes “Connecting Intentionally: The Beginning of Blights Out”

Pelican Bomb


2016       Victoria L. Valentine, “Culture Talk: New Orleans Gallery Owner Stella Jones

on 20 years in the Art Business” Culture Type


2016      Eric Bookhardt “Controls and Counter Reactions at Antenna” Inside


2016      Nemo, “Art with Ideas” Art-E-Walk


2016      John DrsquoAddario “Louisiana artist shine at the Ogden’s Contemporary group

Show, The New Orleans Advacate


2015      Rebecca Lee Reynolds “Studio Visit: Carl Joe Williams in New Orleans”

Burn Away


2015      Isaac Kaplan, “10 years After Katrina, How Art Has Altered New



2015      Eric Bookhardt , “Louisiana Contemporary at the Ogden Museum” New Orleans

Art Insider

2015      John DrsquoAddario “ At the CAC,past present and a bit of future of post-

Katrina art” the New Orleans Advocate


2015      Doug Mac Cash,“Ogden announces big Louisiana group show lineup for White

Linen Night. Times Picayune


2015      Cameron Shaw “Ten Years after Katrina New Orleans Museums

Reckon With Recovery” New York Times



2015       Dan Weiskopf “Last Chance New Orleans work in Relative Humidity a mixed

Bag,at Marcia Wood” Arts ATL


2015       Cyd King”Expert, “Flier new pilot hang art” Art Beat, Arkansas Online


2014       Adam Falik “View from the Street”Art+ Design Magazine (pg48)


2013       Adam Falik “Shades of Perception”Art Voices Magazine (pg 81)

2013      Denise Frazier “Last Call: Carl Joe Williams at The Front” Pelican Bomb


2012       Danny C. Lee “Art in the Big Easy” Front Row Monthly Magazine (pg 67-70)


2011      Doug Mac Cash “Sculptural Trees’ are the best of the new vets sculptures in

               Metairie” The Times Picayune


2011      Jill Willie” Public Displays of Affection” Jefferson Life Magazine (Cover pg 14)


2004      Allen L. Edmunds “Three Decades of American Printmaking: The Brandy Wine

Workshop. ( Pg 217)


2002      Catherine Fox”Roots Poetry” Atlanta Journal Constitution


1996      Jerry Cullum “Kevin Sipp excels as artist curator” Atlanta Journal Constitution


1994      Shelley E. Peck” New Blues” New Art Examiner


1993      Jerry Cullum ”Artist Examine the Black Experience” Atlanta Journal



1993      Catherine Fox, “Language provokes thought on violence” Atlanta Journal



1993      Anne Cowles and Christy Harrison “CDC forum targets rise in violence” Atlanta

Journal Constitution


1993      Amy Jinkner Lloyd “The Painted Word” Creative Loafing (September)


1992     White, Clarence D. “Black Male: Image/Reality.” Art Papers (January/February).


1987      Roger Green “Second rate showcase opens the art season” Times

Picayune (October)




Collaborative Projects


Blights Out

Carl Joe Williams is a founding member of Blights Out. Blights Out is a collective of artists, activists, and architects working to imagine and design a new model for housing development centered outside the for-profit market; we generate dialogue, art, and action to support the movement for permanently affordable housing and challenge blight, displacement, and gentrification.


Blights Out for President

Blights Out for President is a creative campaign that calls for an alternative to top-down electoral politics that center talking heads and vague political jargon over the voices and concerns of everyday people. The Blights Out for President election signage campaign hijacks the aesthetics of election propaganda to create a crowd-sourced campaign of yard signs, billboards, and bumper stickers calling for housing justice.

These yard signs are the culmination of a several months-long process that united a diverse group of New Orleans residents through forums, meetings, and story circles to identify and discuss contemporary roadblocks to visioning and designing the future that we want for our neighborhoods. Designs were crafted by participants in collaboration with Young Creative Agency, a local organization that trains and hires high school students in graphic design.