Bernard Williams is a native of Chicago, Illinois. He holds a BFA Degree from the University of Ill. at Champaign-Urbana, and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, 1987. Williams taught art at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1991-2003.
The artist has been commissioned to create numerous outdoor murals around Chicago and abroad. Mural commissions have been sponsored by a range of organizations and corporations including AT&T, GATX Corp., Kraft Foods, the Snite Museum of Art at the Univ. of Notre Dame, Indiana, Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs, and the Jackson Public School District, Jackson, MS. In 2003 the artist was selected as a resident artist at the prestigious Fine Arts Works Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. He was supported there for seven months (Oct.2003-May2004) pursuing independent projects. Bernard Williams has received strong recognition as a painter and sculptor both regionally and nationally. In 2003 and 2007 Williams was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Grant of $7000. In 2001 the artist was among 20 artists from Chicago and San Francisco to be awarded a $10,000 grant from the Artadia Foundation to continue studio work. He has been featured at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, MS (2001), and the African-American Museum in Dallas, TX (2002). Selected group exhibitions include the Chicago Cultural Center, 2002, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Evanston, 2001, Dowd Fine Arts Gallery, Cortland, NY 2002, and The Eiteljorg Museum of Native American and Western Art, Indianapolis, IN 1999.
In 2004 the artist gained gallery representation in New York City. He debuted as a featured artist in the cutting edge SCOPE NY EXPO with Ethan Cohen Fine Arts. In 2005 the artist had an exhibition with the Hyde Park Art Center and at Chapman University in Orange, California. In 2006, after a three month residency at the Kohler Art Center in Kohler, WI, the artist was awarded a contract to produce a permanent sculpture for the Chicago Transit Authority. Williams most recent solo exhibition Food and Liquor was on view at the McCormick Gallery and the artist was asked to create a piece for one of the public spaces at Art Chicago 2008. His work can currently be seen at the Illinois State Museum. His second solo exhibition with the gallery will be in September 2010.