Artist Theckla White Williams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Carlton White of Chatham, has received two outstanding national honors. She has been selected as Artist of the Month for September by The Artist's Magazine. Her oil painting Spires will be featured all month on the magazine's website. Spires was selected as a finalist in the landscape category in the magazine's 2001 international competition.
Painted in 2000, Spires takes on additional meaning as the nation commemorates September 11. The large painting portrays a scene from New York City: the soaring Gothic twin spires of Saint Patrick's Cathedral juxtaposed against the tops of the towering glass and steel skyscrapers that are its modern backdrop.
Unique perspectives, dramatic angles and highly detailed brushwork characterize Williams' style. She says of Spires that she caught sight of the image while strolling along Fifth Avenue. “I love to look up in New York City — you see the greatest things by looking up from the street. That day, what I glimpsed was very dramatic: here was this historic cathedral surrounded by other buildings, as though they were trying to crowd it out. But the other buildings couldn't do it.
Spires. Copyright © 2002 Theckla White Williams. All rights reserved.
“It was four years before I ever did a painting of it. I wanted to capture the power, emotion and feeling from that experience and share it.”
In addition, a second Williams painting, entitled Mr. Curtiss Meets the Wright Brothers, has been accepted into the prestigious Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club's 106th Annual Juried Exhibition. The exhibition will be on view at the National Arts Club in New York City from Oct. 3 through Oct. 25. The club is named for the only woman among the founders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In contrast to the dramatic outdoor scene of Spires, Williams' Mr. Curtiss Meets the Wright Brothers depicts the powerful yet intricately complex interior of a Curtiss-Wright aeroplane engine. Williams saw the cutaway engine on display at the renowned National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola. Because portions of the engine had been painted to distinguish its parts, the paintingís bright colors and varied shapes make it at first appear to be an abstract painting.
“I was struck by the fact that the people who built this engine were actually artists. Yet all of these beautiful spheres, rods and pipes go together to create this incredible manmade power that has changed the world,” Williams observes.
Williams is nationally acclaimed in her field. Her works have consistently won honors in major juried exhibitions across the country, including New Orleans, Palm Springs, Chicago and New York. In 1996, Williams received the Centennial Award for Painting at the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club's 100th Annual Exhibition, New York City, and in 1997, she received the club's President's Award. In 1999, Williams was also a finalist in the experimental category of The Artist's Magazine's annual competition.
Williams attended Randolph Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, and she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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