In collaboration with The Nicholson Project, alumnus Antoine Williams ‘03 has created four multimedia public artworks located in different quadrants of Washington, DC. Each Afrofuturist mural of the series Mythic Futures features a different mythical being that is portrayed in a way that represents contemporary Black life. Williams has said that this project serves as “contemporary Black folklore in a moment of social, racial, and economic upheaval” and a “radical Black imagining in public space as a liberated act, one that is meant to subvert an untenable status quo.”
The four murals were created using wheat paste, banners, and augmented reality (AR). A QR code is on display by each mural, which connects to Instagram, allowing the viewer to access an AR filter and take a video of the mural with added visuals. Williams hopes the blend of media allows the audience to connect the physical and the digital and makes it easier to share the work and start meaningful community conversations. See Williams demonstrate the process and talk about the murals in a video on his website.
Antoine Williams is an interdisciplinary artist exploring the dynamics between the status quo and moments of subversion. His work sits at the intersection of speculative fiction, monster theory, critical Black studies and afro surrealism. He received a BFA with an illustration concentration from UNC Charlotte and his MFA from UNC-Chapel Hill. He has exhibited at Smack Mellon Brooklyn, Prizm Art Fair, California Museum of Photography, The Mint Museum of Art, 21c Museum, and The Nasher Museum. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, The Center for Afrofuturist Studies, Elsewhere Museum, The Hambidge Center, and The McColl Center for Art and Innovation. Williams’ was also a part of the Drawing Center viewing program. He is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Award for Painters and Sculptors, South Arts Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grant, the National Academy of Design Abbey Mural Prize and the Harpo Foundation Grant Award.
Williams is an assistant professor of drawing in the University of Florida School of Art + Art History. He was named the 2021 Distinguished Alumnus in the Department of Art & Art History.
The murals will be on display in D.C. through December 10, 2023. You can find the map for each mural on the Mythic Features page of The Nicholson Project website.