Dr. Arthur Williams

Space 13 is a limestone sculpture by Dr. Arthur Williams.


Williams by Catchi

Williams has sculptures in over 25 states, Canada and Mexico.  Most are in private collections. Dr. Williams has written three books on  sculpture. He works in wood, steel, and stone. He has a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture.  Williams has had many group exhibitions and one-man shows.

Space 13

Sunday morning November 21, 2021

 Abilene Sculptor Involved in International Symposium

Something exciting is going on – in Texas – just outside Austin – in a little town called Liberty Hill.

It’s called the international sculpture symposium and what it means is that sculptors from Canada, Japan, France, Italy, Tunisia, Germany and the United States have gathered to create, on the spot, works which will form the nucleus of a permanent sculpture park in the vicinity of liberty Hill as a bicentennial gift for the town.

And one of the most exciting things about it, for Abilenians, is that one of the American sculptors who was invited to participate is Dr. Arthur Williams. Abilene Christian University sculpture teacher.

It’s pretty exciting for Dr. Williams, too.

Listening to him talk, it’s hard to say just what is more exciting. “It’s amazing that a little town like liberty Hill is doing this. They have less than 500 people, but it is so well-organized. Mel Fowler is coordinating the symposium.  (Fowler has been named liberty hills sculptor in residence.) $90,000 Worth of limestone, serpentine, granite and marble have been donated by quarries at Burnet, Marble Falls, Llano and Jonestown.”

“The town is furnishing room and board to the sculptors and at noon the Liberty Hill housewives bring lunch to the market Square where the sculptors are working and they all have a picnic.  Getting to know the other sculptors is a great experience.  Some of them can’t even speak English, but they managed to communicate. People are coming to watch in unbelievable numbers. Last weekend I was there there must have been more than 2000 people. One group I talked to had driven in from Louisiana because they read about it in a magazine. They drove over one day and back the next just to see what was going on.”

“And They don’t just watch, they take pictures. There have been TV crews out as well as cameramen. So many you get to where you don’t pay any attention to them. The other day I raised up and nearly knocked a man down who was taking my picture. I didn’t even know he was there.”

1976 Dr. Williams
Photograph taken from Sculpture Park slide archive

Williams is pretty exciting, himself. In the last two years he has entered eight juried shows and received awards and seven of them.
He holds two BA degrees from Harding college in Searcy, Arkansas,; masters degrees from Harding graduate school in Memphis, Tennessee, and the University of Mississippi; and a doctorate from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and has been teaching sculpting at ACU for four years.

Stone and wood carving are the media William says he loves and he’s intrigued with the large multipiece stone sculpture that integrates space into the design.

The relation of space between two or more works is a special emphasis in all William sculptures, big or small.

“Time and the size of stone available limited me on the size of my liberty Hill sculptor, but I hope to someday do something that weighs 16,000 to 17,000 pounds. I would like for people to be able to walk into and through the sculpture – actually become part of it, “he said.

The work Williams is doing at liberty Hill Waze about 4000 pounds. When finished it will sit on a plinth (a table shaped platform) to enable the viewer to look into the middle of it. Right now it’s on the ground which means that Williams spends a good bit of the time lying on his stomach quote to see what’s going on. “

During the 45 days of the symposium, Williams will make 10 trips to liberty Hill, staying 2 to 5 days at a time.

Wielding a 4 pound hammer for 10 to 12 hours a day, he says, doesn’t make him tired. The hard part is the drive there and back.

“I know all the radio stations by heart. I like talkshows best, but they don’t have too many of those anymore. I have learned where all the Mistry programs are and if it was a good one, I know which channel to change too so I can hear it again. “

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