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About the Artist

Vanessa Addison-Williams is a mixed media artist who enjoys using creative techniques in collage, painting and assemblage to explore the complexity of African American identity through history, and as it continues to evolve. Her work draws inspiration from her own life experiences as well as a long tradition of African American artists such as Romare Bearden, Faith Ringgold and David Driskell who continue to inspire the art forms of collage and mixed media works with reimagined representations of Black peoples’ experiences in America.

Themes that Addison-Williams often use in her mixed-media works are diverse familial relationships, the Black church experience, African American movements, and other cultural, historical context in complex compositions. Her conceptual approach to collaging materials is to treat them like elements of signifying language. Each scrap of newsprint, shred of magazine, fragment of color, paint, or fiber holds symbolic meaning and significance, building perceptions through layering to create works that address different aspects of contemporary urban life and identity.

Vanessa Addison-Williams was born in Monterey, CA and raised in the beautiful city of Seaside on the Monterey Peninsula. She moved to Fresno, CA in 2002 where she currently resides and teaches computer art and graphic design courses at Fresno State and Clovis Community College. She earned her BA in Graphic Design and MA in Studio Art from California State University, Fresno. Addison-Williams is also a retired veteran of the U.S. Air Force Reserve with 26 years of honorable service. She has showcased her works of art, crafts, and designs on various platforms, both locally and abroad, and she enjoys collaborating and curating creative cultural works of art that physically, mentally and spiritually enhance public spaces and enlighten the minds of those who visit them. 

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