SECCA to Present Exhibition Entitled Warm Water: New Works by Charles Williams
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (May 16, 2019)—The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) will present an exhibition of oil paintings by Charles Edward Williams. Entitled Warm Water: New Works by Charles Williams, this exhibition features a collection of re-narrated visual works based on the event that sparked the Chicago Race Riot of 1919. These works unfold the story of five Black teens, and what reportedly caused the death of Eugene Williams in Lake Michigan on the South Side of Chicago. With noted recollections and reported events, the work in Warm Water documents and sheds light on the marginalizing oppositions the teens faced during the fragile height of racial sociopolitical conditions nation-wide. The Chicago riot, which took place on July 27, 1919, was the most violent riot in a volatile summer of race riots across the United States.
Warm Water: New Works by Charles Williams will be on display in the Potter Gallery at SECCA, which is located at 750 Marguerite Drive in Winston-Salem, from June 8 to August 11, 2019. SECCA is free and open to the public Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.
An opening reception will be held on Saturday, June 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. Williams will be at the opening and will give a short talk and answer questions. This event is free and open to the public and will include a cash bar (no bar charge for SECCA Members).
Warm Water references the psychological racial constructs and the human state of the five teens during the event, as well as the paralleled combination of chemical/water properties when hot and cold elements are combined. It is also the unsolicited landmark of the lake, a spot that the teens nicknamed “Hot and Cold.” With these two diverse complexities, re-appropriated and re-narrated visual explorations attempt to strike a balance between both past and present, from an incident later marked in history as Red Summer.
Charles Edward Williams is a contemporary visual artist from Georgetown, SC, and holds a BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA and an MFA from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, NC. Creating compelling imagery in oils, video / film, and sound installations, Williams’s work investigates current, historical cultural events related to racism, and to suggestive stereotypes formed within individuals. His works define self-representation of human emotive responses that lie within cultural identity and reveal tension to expose the complexities within our sociopolitical environments. Through his visions, we are encouraged to engage in self-examination, to question false boundaries that separate us, and view the inner connectedness of our common existence.
Williams has attended summer artist residencies at Otis College of Art and Design (Los Angeles, CA), SOMA (Mexico City, Mexico), the Gibbes Museum (Charleston, SC), and the McColl Center for Art + Innovation (Charlotte, NC). Solo exhibitions include Warm Water: New Works by Charles Williams at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Here we Stand: Charles Edward Williams at the Ellen Noel Art Museum, Swim: An Artist’s Journey at the Myrtle Beach Museum (Myrtle Beach, SC), SUN + LIGHT at Residency Art gallery (Inglewood, LA), Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See (Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC), and Swim at Morton Fine Art (Washington, DC). Williams’s work was also recently exhibited at Aqua and Scope Art Fair / Art Basel (Miami, FL). Group exhibitions include the Weatherspoon Museum (Greensboro, NC), the Mint Museum (Charlotte, NC), East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, TN), Tiger Strike Asteroid project space (Philadelphia, PA) and other national institutions.
Williams’s works have been reviewed in local and national publications and media, which include the Washington Post, NPR, and South Carolina’s ETV network (PBS affiliate). Permanent collections include the North Carolina Museum of Art (NC), the Gibbes Museum (SC), Knoxville Museum of Art (TN), and the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art (NJ). Williams also received the Riley Institute Diversity Leadership Award from the State of South Carolina for the development of enriching art programs within local communities. For more information, please visit cewpaintings.com.
The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) is a creative leader of the arts in the Southeast, a museum boldly giving artists of the region a platform for visibility while connecting local communities with the international world of contemporary art. Located at 750 Marguerite Drive, the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. For hours, please visit secca.org. SECCA is an affiliate of the North Carolina Museum of Art, a division of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. SECCA receives operational funding from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Additional funding is provided by the James G. Hanes Memorial Fund.
About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susi H. Hamilton, NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development. NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit ncdcr.gov.