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Dawn Williams Boyd
Williams Boyd
DAWN WILLIAMS BOYD ARTIST STATEMENT Since there were no Afro-centric paper dolls during my youth, my mother and I made buxom paper dolls from the brown bags we brought home from the grocery store. We clothed them with the scraps from her sewing room floor. Six decades later I create with scraps of fabric, garnered from myriad sources, to tell my stories and those of my mothers and fathers. My intention is to depict in a visually universal format, the psychological repercussions of Black peoples abduction and separation from our homes and families, generations of brutal slavery and our continued struggle to survive institutionalized racism. My work is occasionally humorous and warm hearted - it brings back memories of more peaceful, happier times. More often the work is controversial, forceful and sometimes bitter and heart wrenching as I retell the history and culture of this country from the perspective of the ‘other’, the oppressed, abused and disenfranchised. My purpose in making my artwork is twofold: to educate myself and my audiences about what it means to be Black in America; and, to combine the techniques of studio painting with the traditions of quilt making in order to challenge the concept of ‘fine’ art. My ‘cloth paintings’ are large scale, vividly colored, richly textured and celebrate the human form. I use both the appliqué and piecing methods to sew scraps of fabric together. Machine stitches, hand embroidery, beads, sequins, cowrie shells and acrylic paints are added to embellish the surface. Each piece begins as a small sketch and most large pieces take 400-500 hours to complete. Just as peoples from many countries, cultures and traditions were blended to produce me, my art blends myriad bits of cloth to tell my stories, and to educate and promote understanding between people of all cultures.
Fiber Artist, Visual Artist



Dawn Williams Boyd’s artwork reflects her interests in American history as it affects and is affected by its African American citizens, women’s identity and politics. After more than 30 years successfully painting in oils and acrylic paints, in 2002 this prolific artist began to 'paint' with fabric instead of on it. In addition to her ‘cloth paintings’ Ms. Boyd continues to work in other mediums specifically pen and ink on paper and acrylic paints on various surfaces.

Williams Boyd’s work has been exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions. Her exhibition Scraps From My Mother’s Floor was at the Richardson Family Art Gallery at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC in March of this year. In June 2018, as part of the second annual National African American Quilt Convention, her exhibition Coming Home: Discussions of a Movement was featured at The Brown vs. The Board of Education Museum at Topeka, KS. Dawn had two solo exhibitions in 2017: Cloth Paintings by Dawn at Wonder Fair Gallery in Lawrence, KS and Coming Home at Southwest Art Center in Atlanta.

Dawn has participated in numerous national and international group exhibitions. Most recently:
The National Black Arts Festival’s mini pop up exhibition at the Atlanta Jazz Festival in May of this year, Soulful at d’Art Center in Norfolk, VA in February 2019, THINGS THAT MATTER at the St. George Art Museum in St. George, UT and Fabric Flash: A Contemporary Textile Exhibition at Chastain Art Center in Atlanta, in March 2019 and Fiberarts International 2019 in May in Pittsburgh, PA. In 2018 Dawn was invited to exhibit her work in The Search within: Daughters of the Diaspora at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts in Grand Junction, CO in December and O Freedom, My Beloved at ZuCot Gallery in Atlanta, GA.

Dawn Williams Boyd 404 494-5829

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