- Community Development
Mustard Seed Hill
Addison Williams is a visual artist based in Eastern Kentucky that primarily works in fine art photography. He is a member of Art Inc. Kentucky, and with the incubator’s assistance, was recently juried into the Kentucky Arts Council’s Kentucky Crafted program.
“The thing I’m happy about is that Mark [Johnson, President of Art Inc. Kentucky] approached me and encouraged me to apply for Kentucky Crafted. I look at it as building for the future. One of my goals is to get more exposure for my work and get it seen in galleries in front of people who appreciate it,” says Williams.
Operated by the Kentucky Arts Council, Kentucky Crafted is an adjudicated program that supports Kentucky visual and craft artists through marketing, promotional opportunities, and business training. Kentucky Crafted is considered one of the highest honors for a Kentucky artist. Since the organization’s founding four years ago, Art Inc. Kentucky has helped seven of its members become juried into the program.
“As a glass artist myself, I know how important exposure can be for artists,” says Johnson. “We work very hard at helping our artists capitalize on programs and resources such as Kentucky Crafted while also providing them with educational, marketing and selling opportunities through our own retail art gallery, studio spaces and Artists’ Village.”
Williams’ journey as a fine art photographer began through his broader interest in the arts. “I’ve always been creative. I started with a type of fine art photography. Early on, I got into taking photos of things people really would take a second look at. Old buildings, different rusty equipment, things I found around my area.”
In addition to fine art photography, Williams focused on macro photography to show images from a unique perspective. He also worked as a wedding and portrait photographer for a time. “I feel like my passion is about sharing interesting, beautiful things with people, regardless of the way it’s done. Art is one of the ways I can share interesting and beautiful things with people. Even with my landscape photography, I like to be able to capture the feeling at a certain spot or destination. When people who have also visited see that image, I want them to recall those feelings. It’s like a shared experience,” Williams shares.
Williams reflects on the time in his life when he realized photography could be more than a hobby. “I was with another artist friend of mine, an art curator. They were working on a new hotel project. She was in charge of getting the art for it. She reached out and wanted some of my work displayed in the hotel. That was the first time it stood out to me that I could get my work into a hotel.” At the time, Williams had a full-time job doing auto paint touch up.
Today, he owns the same shop but spends his time focused on photography.
Williams would discover Art Inc. through a Facebook post calling for artists to be a part of the organization. “It’s been great so far. COVID changed some things, but all my interactions with Mark have been good. We were at a show when Mark brought Kentucky Crafted to me, and he encouraged me to apply.” While he had never previously heard of the program, Williams has high hopes that it will help him grow even more in his career. “To be juried into something like [Kentucky Crafted], it’s the first I’ve had an opportunity with a major organization like that. Part of it is recognition for the quality of my work. I appreciate that.”
Although it has only been open a little over a month, Addison has already had a major sale at ArtHouse Kentucky, Art Inc.‘s new retail art gallery located at The MET near downtown Lexington. His work has been promoted on the gallery’s social media pages several times and is available at ArtHouse Kentucky’s online retail gallery (ArtHouseKentucky.org).
Williams is already looking forward to new projects in the future, including more large-scale public art. “I really have enjoyed printing large scale. I’ve had a couple of opportunities to participate in public art displays and I’d like to do more of that, along with some more large-scale photographic art work and photographic murals. That’s one of my goals.” Williams is also the Chairman of a local arts organization, EpiCentre Arts, in Whitesburg, KY. He is also working to help them complete construction on a gallery space in the coming months.
Community Ventures and Art Inc. Kentucky would like to congratulate Addison Williams and the other member artists juried into the Kentucky Crafted program.
To learn more about Addison and his work, visit his website at addisonwilliams.com. To learn more about Art Inc. Kentucky and its services for artists, visit www.artinckentucky.org.