Peter B. Williams

Peter B. Williams

Fellow: Awarded 2021
Field of Study: Fine Arts

Competition: US & Canada

Peter Williams chronicles current and historical events, interspersing pictorial narratives with personal anecdotes and fictional characters in order to create vibrant paintings about the diverse experiences of Black Americans. With boldness and humor, he tackles the darkest of subjects including, but not limited to, police brutality, lynching, slavery, mass incarceration, and other realms of racial oppression. Williams uses cultural criticism to form new creation myths, retelling the history of America from fresh and cosmic perspectives. Williams was born in Nyack, NY and lives in Wilmington, DE. He earned his MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and his BFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He is also a recipient of a 2021 American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize and the 2020 Artists’ Legacy Foundation Artist Award. In 2018 he was inducted into the National Academy of Design. Other awards include the Djerassi Resident Artists Program (2018), Wynn Newhouse Award (2012), Joan Mitchell Awards (2004, 2007), Ford Foundation Fellowships (1985, 1987), and McKnight Foundation Fellowship (1983) and was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial. He recently retired from his position as Senior Professor, Fine Arts Department, University of Delaware and taught at Wayne State University for 17 years prior and is represented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.


Photo Credit: Kathy F. Atkinson

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