Artist: Andrea Williams
Media: Ceramics and cement
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
This week I got the chance to speak with artist Andrea L. Williams, a ceramics undergraduate at the CSULB School of Art, expecting to graduate this semester. Andrea lives in Riverside, California and commutes all the way to Long Beach every day. She is married her husband, and has a young daughter named Gemalli, who is one of her main inspirations in her artwork. Andrea said that she didn’t really know what she wanted to do until her 20’s when her husband asked her what she wanted to do. She decided on ceramics. She explained that music and art has always been in her family, so she grew up artistically inclined. Andrea also used to be a drummer in a band since she was 14.
Andrea’s described the formal qualities of her work to be primarily driven by texture. She mainly uses ceramics and cement. Andrea explained that she doesn’t like to smooth out her fingerprints and other imperfections because it adds a rough texture that goes hand in hand with the message and meaning of her work. She said it takes about a week total for one of the pieces to be finished because it takes awhile to dry and to see what colors come through. She likes using the ceramic materials because they are less toxic and hazardous to children than other art materials, considering she has a little girl at home.
As far as the content of her work, it is obvious that religion has a large influence on her work. Andrea explained that her work encompasses sacrifices not only of faith, but of a woman and her body and time. She explained that this subject matter tends to go unnoticed as a whole. Andrea has experienced this through motherhood. In her artist statement, she said, “I have sacrificed my body, my mind, my time, my time, my life, my work.” I think this quote greatly expresses her inspiration behind her works and what she was thinking about while creating them. Andrea explained that some people may see her work as sac-religious, however, if they were to read her artist statement they would view her art differently. Andrea’s hope is to make people question their religion and art as a subject matter, because art is so hard to define nowadays.
Personally, I think Andrea’s story behind her motivation of her artwork is beautiful. Her child had such a huge influence on her artwork and changed her life for the better. It really made me think what influences different aspects in my life have on me, and what could possibly influence me in the future. Overall, I really enjoyed listening to what Andrea had to say about her art and her reasons behind creating it.