Wade H. Williams, African American Artist/Muralist has always identified as an artist at a early age…
“I found ways to free my expressions and have been painting
in one way or another for as long as I can remember.”
Wade is a Durham native and graduate of St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, NC. He attended the Art Students’ League of New York where he studied drawing, oil painting and artistic anatomy. Wade has a diverse repertoire of media and style including acrylics, oils, mixed media and watercolor. He is a contributing artist on the Durham Civil Rights Mural Project, and his works have been displayed in several galleries. He currently serves on the Public Art Committee of the Durham Cultural Advisory Board.
He was born in 1950 at Duke hospital and attended W. G. Pearson Elementary School, Whitted Junior High and Hillside High School Class of 1968. He received a tennis scholarship and graduated 1972 from Saint Augustine’s College, Raleigh NC with a Bachelors in Fine Art. During his four years at Saint Augustine’s College he also attended Shaw University and Meredith College for the Arts. He matriculated to New York to attend the Art Students League of New York between 1979 to 1989 and received the Jackson Pollock Scholarship Board of Control Scholarship and a number of others. While attending the Art Students League of New York, Wade studied drawing and oil painting under Hughie Lee Smith and Artistic Anatomy under Robert Beverly Hale among others.
“My greatest influence in art comes from the 0ld Masters and the French Impressionists. My last showing in NYC was at the Cork Gallery at Lincoln Center.”
In fear of becoming a professional student I packed my bags and moved to Belize, Central America to live on a small island name Caye Caulker. A 45-minute water taxi ride from Belize City. While living in Belize, January 24, 1989, I gave a one-man art show at The Bliss Institute with a selection of my original oil paintings and watercolor paintings on exhibit. Two of those paintings are now hanging in the Mexican embassy in Belize City. After a little more than to two years I moved back to the United States to live in East Orange New Jersey.
A couple years later I moved to Philadelphia Pennsylvania. I began working for the City of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program, a public program that creates murals in neighborhoods and communities throughout the city of Philadelphia. In addition to painting murals I was a part of the art education program for children and teens. I also instructed both children in the Big Picture program as well as teens in the Mural Corps. In this program young people from all over the city are divided into teams that provided murals for places that needed art – school, public housing sites and recreation centers.
In 2006 I moved back to my hometown Durham North Carolina where I have continued to work at my craft. My most recent exhibit was at the African American Art Exhibition at the Hayti Heritage Center. I have shown my art works at the Durham Art Guild Gallery and the Carrack Gallery. I was commissioned by Lincoln Community Health Center to do a mural on fruits and vegetables titled, The Farmers Market for the WIC program. I also participated in the Durham Civil Rights History Mural Project.