There are deep currents reflecting African and African American history and culture seen in the art created by William Rhodes. Libraries have media with the qualities that can take you back in time to any place in the world and the trans-formative information that can propel your thoughts into the future. The choice is yours based on what you see and read. It makes perfect sense that William’s current exhibit, “Souls of Water” Memories of the African Diaspora, is on view at San Francisco’s Main Library located in the heart of the city.
William says he is a “Woodworker by trade, artist by choice”. He blends and equally balances his creative education and experience in furniture making, craft, art, and design to develop his thought provoking works. He extends the African cultural tradition which applies decorative art or motifs to all utilitarian objects on his wide range of paintings, sculptures and furniture pieces. Even his small sculptural works have functional, secret compartments. He has created three new works to complete the narrative of this exhibit.
Rhodes uses the theme of water throughout his work as a powerful symbol of life. He observes that too little or too much water can mean the difference between life and death. The right amount of water in the right place can bring harmony and peaceful living. Water reflects us in ponds and rivers. William used mirrors in his work to capture the reflective nature of water. In his life the artist has seen water used spiritually for baptism, rituals or cleansing the spirit. The destructive nature of water can be seen as the artist includes the water damaged bible that his father used to protect his face from the force of a water cannon during a civil rights march.
The Library is the perfect location for quiet reflection on William’s historically imbued works. San Francisco Public Library, The African American Center is located on the 3rd floor of the Main Library, 100 Larkin Street (at Groove). Telephone: 415 557.4277.
Meet the artist at his “Artist Talk” February 1, 2014, 1pm – 3pm http://sfpl.org/index.php?pg=1015767001
William is a founding member of the 3.9 Collective, A group of African American artists who live and create in San Francisco. https://www.facebook.com/ThreePointNineArtCollective
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