The Daily Gamecock

Making Maps: An evening of art and cartography with James Williams

The Columbia Museum of Art will host a lecture and open discussion session featuring artist James Williams on Jan. 27 at 6 p.m. The event, co-sponsored by the Friends of African-American Art & Culture, aims to highlight the North Carolina artist’s debut museum collection titled “Making Maps: The Art of James Williams,” which is on display on the second floor of the museum until Feb. 5. The exhibit is the final installation of a three-part series at the Columbia Museum of Art that celebrates African-American art and culture.

Williams is an associate professor of art at Guilford Technical Community College. Through his mixed-media work, he explores seemingly ordinary destinations and objects of everyday life, and he simultaneously channels complex themes of self-expression and identity.

The exhibit challenges traditional ideas associated with cartography and how maps are spatially oriented through abstract expressionism. There is a strong contrast in the pieces between the chaotic overlapping colors and the structure provided by the use of geometric shapes and lines.

"Making maps can lead you in many directions,” Williams said. “They can give you the freedom to navigate what's important about the journey, and thus can help you determine how far your imagination wants to travel."