ASU Professor Charles Williams to present Renaissance ‘art scene’ lecture

Oct. 5—ALBANY ─ Albany State University Art Professor Charles “Chazz” Williams will share his fascination with history — especially art history — at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Albany Museum of Art in the second in a series of lectures on Renaissance and Baroque art and culture.

Williams, a professor of visual art, art appreciation and art history at Albany State, will speak on the topic “Multiculturalism and the Artist Perspective in Renaissance Art.” The AMA is located at 311 Meadowlark Drive.

“I am fascinated by art history, particularly in ways that groups of artists come together in particular regions throughout history to create what we might refer to as an ‘art scene,’ and how that affects our ideas about art from a particular time and place,” Williams said. “What makes up an art scene is at the heart of my lecture.”

The lecture series, funded by a grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts, is designed to share information on Renaissance and Baroque works of art and to provide context. Twenty-nine paintings from the two periods are in the “European Splendors: Old Master Paintings from the Kress Collection” exhibition on loan from the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina.

“It is so wonderful to have ASU’s very own Professor Williams speak at the AMA,” Annie Vanoteghem, director of education and public programming for the AMA, said. “His dedication to the arts and youth in Albany is unmatched. He will be sharing a unique perspective of ‘European Splendors’ through the lens of the artist, so it is sure to be a wonderful and engaging evening.”

The lectures in the series are aimed at high school students in southwest Georgia but open to everyone. The AMA asks those who visit the museum to wear masks and observe social distancing. There is no charge to attend, but the AMA is asking those interested in coming to register online. A link for each lecture may be found at

Williams, who grew up in central Georgia and spent much of his life traveling between Florida and Georgia, has an MFA in Studio Art and an MA in Literature from Florida State University. His undergraduate degree is in Creative Writing from the University of South Florida.

He moved to Albany in 2004 to teach painting and drawing at Albany State. In addition to studio courses, Williams has taught art history courses for 17 years. He also is developing a program of Museum Studies at ASU, and is conducting academic research in Visionary Art and Punk and Hip Hop Culture in the United States. He presented his research material at a Hip Hop Conference at ASU and at a Southern Studies Conference at Auburn Montgomery.

Williams, who serves on the Board of Trustees of the Albany Museum of Art, is married to Nicole Willis, executive director of the Albany Area Arts Council.

“Though fascinated by history, I do not consider myself an art historian, which is why I stress that the lecture is from an artist’s viewpoint, equally valid but somewhat different,” Williams said. “My artistic production has always been 2D mixed media, and I have worked primarily in painting and photography. My most recent work, however, is a collection of analog collages addressing monumentality, cultural meaning, and the ongoing controversies regarding those topics that have become so prevalent in the recent past.”

“European Splendors: Old Master Paintings from the Kress Collection” is organized by the Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina, with support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York. Its exhibition at the AMA was made possible by the Walter and Frances Bunzl Family Foundation.

Art professors scheduled to take part in the lecture series, and the dates and subject matter for their lectures, are:

—Oct. 21: Grace Harpster; assistant professor of art history; Georgia State University; “Material and Meaning in the European Splendors Exhibition”;

—Nov. 18: Elissa Auerbach; professor of art history; Georgia College & State University; “Art for Faith’s Sake! How Religious Art Divided Europe in Early Modernity”;

—Dec. 9: Joyce de Vries; professor and Department of Art & History chair; Auburn University; “Living with Art: Paintings from the European Splendors Exhibition in the Renaissance Household.”

The lecture series launched Sept. 30 with a presentation on “Spiritual Realities within the Immanent Frame” by Keaton Wynn, professor of art history and ceramics at Georgia Southwestern State University. Wynn’s lecture is available for viewing on the AMA’s Facebook page.

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