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Annual Winter Group Show

White Slate
Out of the Green


Shirley Williams became a full-time professional artist in 1989, after leaving behind a thriving video production company in Toronto. She currently works in a large warehouse studio in Windsor, Ontario 5 minutes from the Michigan border. This close proximity to the US has given Shirley a unique, international perspective as well as a growing list of Canadian and American collectors.

Shirley Williams paints organic abstract landscapes inspired by the ability of color and texture to stir one’s emotions. Her larger scale canvas paintings and encaustic collages have been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions across Canada, Michigan and New York. Shirley Williams has been featured in numerous publications including a recent biography in The Artist's Magazine.

In 2006 Shirley Williams was chosen to be Visual Artist in Residence of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and commissioned to complete a major painting which was used as the centerpiece for the entire 2006 – 2007 Symphony Season. Other major international projects include commissions for a private jet lounge, and an award-winning 127-foot yacht in the Virgin Islands.

Public collections include University of Windsor, County of Essex City Hall and Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit. Major Corporate collections include General Motors, KPMG, Saturn Tool & Die, BMO Financial and Eastern Construction to name only a few.


Horizontal bands of color, no matter how abstract, generally read as landscapes for most of us. My paintings explore this fine line of ambiguity between pure abstraction and implied realism through the process of layering color and organic texture. My objective is to evoke a sensation or memory in the viewer, of a place remembered or imagined, without literal reference to landscape.

I begin each series by consciously choosing what I call a "color chord" of pigments, much the same way a musician begins to compose from a chosen musical chord. Confining myself to this pre-selected limited palette, I proceed to explore its fullest emotional range in a process driven way. Working in multiple layers over time, acrylic paint mixed to a variety of consistencies is glazed, poured, spread, and scraped to achieve a highly tactile surface that seems to glow from within.



2008   Colorscapes Leonardo Galleries, Toronto
2007   Windsor Symphony Orchestra Benefit, St. Clair Center for the Arts
2004   Colorscapes [Juried] Capitol Arts Centre, Windsor
2002   Colorscapes Cobo Hall Invitational, Detroit
2001   Recent Work DKP Gallery Invitational, Toronto
1997   Protective Spirits [Juried] Common Ground Gallery, Windsor
1997   Recent Work [Juried] Capitol Arts Centre, Windsor


2008-09   Leonardo Galleries, Toronto
2007   Postcards from the Edge James Cohan Gallery, New York
2006   Miniatures Sikkema Jenkins Gallery, New York
2006   Miniatures Artists Space, New York
2006   Art Gallery of Windsor [Juried]
1998   Moda Gallery [Juried] Birmingham
1998   University of Windsor Invitational, Windsor
1997   Park Street Gallery Invitational, Windsor
1996   Mackensie Hall Cultural Center [Juried] Windsor
1996   Dimension Plus Gallery [Juried Group] Montreal
1996   Gallery Collections [Juried] Windsor
1994   Miniature Collages Prisma Gallery [Juried] Toronto
1993   Ikwil Gallery [Juried] Windsor


Windsor Star Williams Wins National Portfolio Competition [04/03/08]
The Artist's Magazine Work in Progress pg. 34 [10/07]
Windsor Symphony Orchestra Quarter Notes, cover [Spring 2007]
Windsor Symphony Orchestra Quarter Notes Imagine by Jay Katz [Winter 2006]
Windsor Star Painting of Note by Ted Shaw [31/03/06]
Windsor Life Magazine Artist in Residence by Lori Newton. pg. 37 [03/06]
The Drive Magazine The Creative Approach by Sarah Fisher [07/04]
WOW Magazine Color Vision by Eleanor Parker. pg. 22 [11/02]
Room Magazine Facets & Strata by Kate Mead. pg. 14 [04/97]
Express Magazine Layered Approach by Craig Pearson. pg. 10 [01/97]
In Business Magazine The Business of Art by Hal Sullivan [09/96]
Big Sisters & Big Brothers Lottery Calendar. Featured Artist [04/96, 03/05]
Windsor Star New & Noticed by Sande Chase [12/04/95, 27/03/93]
Windsor Life Magazine Studio Gallery by Gordana Stevanovic. pg. 41 [10/95]


2008 Winner National Juried Portfolio Competition Toronto
1997 Exhibition Assistance Grant. Ontario Arts Council
1996 General Assistance Grant. Odette Foundation for the Arts