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William Downs: Rumbling and Stumbling

Gail and Jeffrey Bayer Grand Atrium

January 14 – March 19, 2022

Opening Reception: January 14 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Artist William Downs challenges our perceptions of the human figure and how it lives within our own awareness and culture. His figures evoke ideas from the depths of our consciousness to explore themes of vulnerability, compassion, cultural empathy, and the human experience. Inside Downs’ mind is a series of pictures, “I cannot count how many times during the day I get lost in my own magic viewfinder of memory reels. Every image I stumble upon morphs in my mind, leading me to generate a new set of snapshots.... My aim is to awaken repressed feelings of anxiety, fear, joy, angst, or lust, by drawing them into the world on paper or on walls.” See yourself in the work and you become a part of it. What story do you see in the drawings?

William Downs currently lives and works in Atlanta. He earned his MFA from the Mount Royal School of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art and his BFA in Painting and Printmaking from the Atlanta College of Art and Design. His work has been exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions around the U.S. and internationally, including Eva Chimento Gallery, LA; Contemporary Art Museum, MS; and the Century Gallery in London; International Print Center, NY; The Contemporary Art Museum at the University of South Florida; the African American Museum, Philadelphia; and Derek Eller Gallery. N.Y. In 2018, he received the Artadia Award and a Nellie Mae Rowe Fellowship at the Hambidge Creative Residency Center Program and was also a visiting Critic at Anderson Ranch in Colorado this past Fall.

Thank you to our UAB Visual and Performing Arts members and all supporters - without you this exhibition and programming would not be possible.

William Downs, "Until we meet again"
William Downs, "The conversation," 2021. Inkwash on canvas, 96 by 72 inches. Courtesy of the artist
William Downs, "They were born in the Desert," 2021. Inkwash on canvas, 63 by 84 inches. Courtesy of the artist

Installation View

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