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FreeTimes, April 28 – May 4, 1999

By Teri Tynes

The following quotes are drawn from a full length article that was the cover story for the aforementioned issue.


“He’s one of the most hard-working artists in the region, taking the idea of persistence seriously.” 


“His painting consists of haunting and fascinating depictions of nature”

“Importantly, Mike Williams’s work and world is of this place. Though knowledgeable and conversant in the formal elements of a painter’s space and with demonstrable appreciation for much of contemporary art, his work rests in its authenticity.”

“He doesn’t merely observe nature; rather he takes part in it.”


“These works are not simply decorative paintings or sculptures of fish and swamps, although they do lend themselves well to spectacular interiors. They are his evocative responses, born largely of memory, to the natural world he inhabits.”

Excerpts from a review by Kwame Dawes
Exhibition: Leap of Faith

The University Gallery in the Jack Anderson Library

USC-Sumter, Sumter SC

“..I am swallowed up by colors and images that shout their presence.”

“These incredible strokes of color on canvases defy any inclination simply to be intellectual, and instead opt for passion because instinct can be nothing else but a leap of artistic faith.”

"“Williams is big on fish, but his fascination extends beyond mere interest in scales and fins.  As poet Lorna Goodison, who recently visited South Carolina, said to me on viewing Williams’ work, “This man paints from inside the fish.  He is painting the heart and soul of the fish.  He is the fish.”

From the exhibition catalog, Artists Select Artists II,
Painters’ Drawings
January 7- April 4, 1994

In the foreword by Lin Nelson-Mayson, Deputy Director for Curatorial Services, Columbia Museum of Art, she writes:

“To the casual viewer, the work of Mike Williams depicts fish.  In fact, to the careful viewer, Williams’ work depicts fish.  These are not the fish of botanical illustrations, however, but rather emotionally charged creatures which hold their mortality close.” 


“Williams uses the fish as a theme around which to explore variations in materials and techniques.

He also imbues them with an awareness of human interactions and foibles.”

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