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About The Artist

WIlliam REED



Artist Statement 

I am a narrative painter and I tell stories with my art. I try to create a re-imagined reality through allegory and trans-formative narrative. In our dreams, metaphor and symbol are a universal language. Through the process of dreaming we are able to contextualize seemingly incongruous events, imply meaning and help us understand our own story. I acknowledge the richly magical and mystical quality of our unconscious mind and endorse the use of dream-like metaphor and symbolism in my work, which is unrestricted by time and space, people or places to engage in storytelling through narrative painting. Combining these basic principles with an often healthy dose of humor, use of anachronism and appropriation, I create for myself a full and potent tool chest from which to work. When I remain open to participate in wakeful dreaming, unhindered by traditional boundaries, the work may rise to a level of unspoken but universal understanding. 

Exhibitions and Awards  

  • 2023 Bosque Gallery, Lone Star College, The Egg Show, Heather Braman, Curator 
  • 2023 Silver Street Studio Show “Beginnings”, Rosa Ana Orlando, Curator 
  • 2022 Silver Street Studio Show “Open Doors”, Wayne Gilbert, Curator 
  • 2022 Silver Street Studio Show “Progress/Progresso”, Armando Rodriguez, Curator 
  • 2021 Silver Street Studio Show “Without Limits”, 2021 The Visual Arts Alliance of Houston, 37th Juried Open Exhibition 
  • 2021 The Glassell School of Art Block XX virtual show 
  • 2020 Member of Glassell School of Art Advanced Block Program, Block XX 
  • 2019 Member of Glassell School of Art Advanced Block Program, Block XIX 
  • 2019 The Glassell School of Art Block XIX Show
  • 2018 The Visual Arts Alliance of Houston, 36th Juried Membership Exhibition, Juror Selected Participant
  • 2018 Kinder Morgan Exhibition Series "Still Life", Lobby of Kinder Morgan Building, Houston, TX, Juror Selected Participant
  • 2017 - 2018 Kinder Morgan Exhibition Series, Lobby of Kinder Morgan Building, Houston, TX, Juror Selected Participant
  • 2017 The Visual Arts Alliance of Houston, 35th Juried Membership Exhibition, Juror Selected Participant
  • 2017 The Visual Arts Alliance of Houston 12th Juried Invitational Exhibition, Juror Selected Participant
  • 2017 The Visual Arts Alliance of Houston 34th Juried Open Exhibition, Juror Selected Participant, 1st Place Winner
  • 2017 The Glassell School of Art Student Show, Juror Selected Participant, Awarded the School's annual 2D Award for 2017
  • 2017 The Jung Center of Houston, Visions Show2016 The Jung Center of Houston, Visions Show  

Education  

  • 2013 - 2018 The Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Fall 2018 - Spring 2019 BLOCK XIX, Advanced Seminar & Critique Program, The Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Fall 2019 - Spring 2020 BLOCK XX, Advanced Seminar & Critique Program, The Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

When I found the joy of painting

It took me an awfully long time of doing other things before I found painting. I don't know if it was there waiting for me all along, or if I had to move through the other stuff to get there. Painting has been a spiritual experience for me - it is my go-to place. My first painting instructor, Arielle Masson, told me as a new student at the Glassell School that she could teach me how to paint, but she could not teach me what to paint. 

What I paint

I am a narrative painter: I tell stories with my paintings. My paintings usually include people or animals. Much of my work is influenced by night dreams and daydreams. No matter how hard I may try to paint a traditional landscape, a still life, or a portrait, it always ends up bent towards some narrative. Why does that vase of flowers have a droopy flower alongside the perfect ones? Why does that person in the room have a mischievous expression? Why does that cityscape in Dallas have a green sky? Why does she hand feed the sharks? Sometimes the narrative is bold, and sometimes it is subtler - I think you are getting the idea.

The Driving Force 

I am a keen observer of people and situations. What pushes or pulls us along? Why is that guy or gal doing what they are doing? What got them to this point? I have noticed that life is all screwed up sometimes and sometimes it is glorious. Much of the time we are too busy to notice that we are just in a moment between the extremes. I would like to think that I have seen a lot of stuff pass by over the last sixty-five years. That is more than two-thirds of a lifetime, so I certainly hope I had my eyes open. That's what I am compelled to talk about in my paintings. Is there meaning in the apparent randomness? I don't know, but as self-reflective beings, don't we have to discuss such things? Those are the threads that weave through me and bind me to you. I don't care much who you are, or who you think you are, but maybe way down there somewhere, we are all connected doing this thing called life together. If we can just step out of our roles for a moment, we may be able to see each other with more understanding and compassion.  

Cultural and Family Influcences 

You would not get the full picture of me if you did not know that I was the youngest and only surviving child of three. Neither of my siblings made it out of their teens as my brother was killed in a hunting accident and my sister died at the hands of a hit-and-run drunk driver on the way to her high-school graduation party. Those kinds of things get your attention, and in a hurry. It also brings with it a lot of clarity about what is important. Outside of those tragedies, much of my life has been pretty normal for a middle-class Texan in the second half of the twentieth century. I am a fifth-generation Houstonian. I went to the University of Texas where I received a business degree in 1979. I am more than happily married to Andrea. She is my true love, my soul mate, my portable hard drive, and my shelter from the storm. I could not even think about doing this art thing without the support of my brilliant and loving wife. 

Artistic Education 

I have been a business owner, a real estate broker, and an investor in my prior work life. I found painting late in life when I enrolled in classes at the Glassell School of Art in 2013. The Glassell School of Art is part of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. I have now completed over one hundred hours of college level art classes at Glassell in drawing, painting, watercolor, color theory, art history and design. For me, being a painter is not a static place that I hope to eventually obtain: it is a journey of practice, of learning, of evolving and of sharing with others. Swedish psychologist Malcolm Gladwell said it can take ten-thousand hours of practice to master a subject. I started late and I don't have that much time, but I work in my studio most every day and my wish is that I can continue to grow and improve. 

Artistic Emphasis 

Narrative and Figurative Painter, primarily through use of acrylic, oil and watercolor 

Some Photos from my studio


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