Practicing Artist/ Assistant Professor of Art at Guilford College, Greensboro
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration, UNC Charlotte (2003)
Master of Fine Arts, UNC Chapel Hill (2014)
Hometown: Red Springs, NC
Antoine Williams grew up in a small rural community in eastern North Carolina, midway between Fayetteville and Laurinburg. The realities of race and class that he experienced there became the foundation – the bass line – of his work, upon which he builds fantastical imagery and complex mythologies, influenced by the imaginative realms of science fiction and larger-than-life narratives in hip hop.
When Antoine arrived at UNC Charlotte, he found “a diverse range of people and ideals which helped me become a critical thinker and more empathetic,” he says. Two professors in particular, Jamie Franki and Lili Corbis, played a special role in his education. “They went out of their way as instructors and made art relatable to everyday life.” His undergraduate experience provided “a very sound technical approach to art-making and aesthetics.”
After graduating from UNC Charlotte, Antoine joined fellow art alum John Hairston and two other young Charlotte artists to form the God City Arts Collective, which successfully integrated art and activism in urgent, energetic work that ranged from murals to pop-up shows to rap concerts. Throughout his career, he has cultivated his skills as both an artist and a teacher, exhibiting in numerous solo and group exhibitions and serving as an instructor in schools ranging from regional community colleges to UNC Chapel Hill, where he recently received his MFA.
Antoine currently lives in Chapel Hill. He will be part of the Department of Art & Art History Biennial Alumni Exhibition in Rowe Galleries in Fall 2015. See his work at rawgoods.org.