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
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 Perception” Ohr–O’Keefe Museum Of Art Biloxi, MS
“In the Beginning….There was no Beginning” The Front Gallery, New
“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
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
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
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
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
“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
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.
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
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
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”
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 Nola.org
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”
2015 Isaac Kaplan, “10 years After Katrina, How Art Has Altered New
2015 Eric Bookhardt , “Louisiana Contemporary at the Ogden Museum” New Orleans
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
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
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.