LaVon Van Williams


Born in Lakeland, Florida, LaVon Williams Jr. grew up in a household filled with artists- writers, sculptors, and illustrators who cultivated the creative energy bestowed upon him as a child. LaVon’s grandfather was a musician and poet, his mother excelled as a sketch artist, and his great uncle was gifted in the art of carving. LaVon’s religious observation of his great uncle’s prolific talent informed his own artistic practice, as his first love became carving.

Williams’ bas-relief works chronicle the essence of his heritage, serving as lasting tributes to the pioneering relatives who came before him by capturing the stories and traditions that honor his family’s celestial guidance. Williams’ figures are emotive and energetic, inhabiting dynamic compositions that construct authentic and engaging worlds, releasing his art from its strict wooden form. His “urban folk art” reaches audiences in a distinctive and striking way, combining the tactile physicality of carving with a confident sense of color and intentionality that emerge in both his 3D and 2D works.

In Williams’ prolific career as an artist, his works have been featured by institutional giants like the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum, the Hickory Museum of Art, and have been included in the permanent collection of the National Museum of African American History Culture. Despite a professor insisting a black artist would have no future in the art world, Williams has created various legacies in his lifetime, both inside and outside the realm of art.

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