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Art & Life with Elise Williams

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elise Williams.

Elise, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up wanting to do something in the medical field. All through high school I planned on majoring in biology or chemistry when I went to college and going on to medical school after. I’m not sure what the change was, but when it was time to declare a major I chose art. Something in me had to give it a try. Aside from a handful of drawings and paintings I had done in high school I had basically no art creating experience. It was definitely a leap of faith, but the best decision I have ever made. I cannot imagine not having art in my life on a daily basis and being an artist myself.
I went to Georgia College in Milledgeville which is a very small town. There were some art opportunities, but I knew when I graduated I wanted to move to a larger city to experience a real art community. I’ve been in Atlanta for almost 3 years now. It took a lot of persistence and constant reaching out to get to this point in my art career. There’s so much more to do and learn, but I have loved this journey so far.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I love working with paper. I studied printmaking in school and worked two dimensionally for pretty much my whole time in school. I became extremely interested in how I could turn my two-dimensional works into something more sculptural. It wasn’t until my capstone project that I decided to give it a try. Through a lot of trial and error of different materials I landed on coffee filters. This medium has been a game changer for me. It’s so versatile. I have discovered different ways of dying to add pops of color into my pieces. I have a specific “rolling” technique that I use to create a cone shape with the coffee filters that allows me to fill a structure of chicken wire with them. The texture created when the coffee filters are massed together is quite beautiful.

For a long time, I have been inspired by nature, oceanic life, and the microscopic. Recently, the work I have been creating embodies and is inspired by water — the currents, the reflections that lie on its surface, and coral reefs.
With these inspirations I try to capture the lushness of living forms by employing a diverse range of colors and textures.

My goal is to create pieces of art or installations that bring out curiosity in the viewers. I hope that people will be drawn to my pieces to take a closer look, spending more than just a few seconds to investigate the structure and materials.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
Artists are so crucial to the world. Creating, whether just for yourself or for sharing with others brings life and color into the spaces we encounter every day. Being surrounded by art provides a great energy and is such an inspiration for me as an artist to keep creating and pushing through the low points I encounter with making art. For me, art is all about having fun and making things I want to see. Whether or not art is directly related to specific events or issues it still can evoke a feeling in the viewer. That is something I hope to achieve with my own pieces.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I have a piece, Immersion, in the AC Box Hole Gallery in EAV and a couple pieces at Orpheus. My installation, DIVE, is still on view at Murmur as well. I also keep an updated portfolio on my website.

I would love more opportunities for commission work!

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