A public garden & cultural center

Michael Kelly Williams

Winter Workspace 2017

Pictured above:
New Vision Festival 1, 2015
Mixed media on paper
59 1/2” x 40”
Courtesy of the artist


Harlem-based artist Michael Kelly Williams draws inspiration from folk art, mythology and his African ancestry to produce multimedia sculptures, monoprints and screenprints. Williams creates charged surrealistic narratives that are designed with cut shapes from plastic and aluminum. His process is intentionally playful and detail-oriented using collage, creating props, layering paint, carpentry and superimposing found objects with mixed media works. His decades-long experimentation with found objects, recycled materials and bronze has formed historical sculptural works located on Lenox Avenue in Harlem. Williams will study the succulent plants in Wave Hill’s Conservatory, incorporating their intimate, powerful forms in his work.

Williams was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, and grew up in Detroit, MI. He graduated with a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Michigan and went on to study and teach in New York City at Robert Blackburn’s Printmaking Workshop. Williams was Artist-in-Residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He earned an MFA in Sculpture from Brooklyn College. Williams has also been an educator with the New York City Department of Education system for many years. He has been commissioned for various permanent installations, including two mosaic murals located at the Intervale Subway Station (2/5) in the Bronx as well as several glass murals in P.S. 82 Hammond School in Queens, NY.

Learn more about the artist here.

Michael Kelly Williams will be present for Drop-In Studio Sundays from 1-3pm on March 12 and 19. 

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.