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The Featured Artist Series is in partnership with Gasher Journal's forthcoming print issue, AFTER: A Collection of Ekphrastic Writing and Art. 


Each month, we will feature an artist here and invite writers to submit creative writing in reaction to the art showcased. Select ekphrastic writings will be featured alongside the art at the gallery showcase at the Ana Mendieta Gallery at The University of Iowa May 6th - May 18th.


Previous months:

March_Stephanie E. Hanes

February_Lucia Riffel

January_Amy Pleasant

November_Colleen Toledano

October_Jennifer Ling Datchuk

September_Laura Benson

August _ Padyn Humble

July _ Audrey An

June _ Emily Llamazales


April Artist: William Downs

William Downs was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina and lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. His solo exhibitions include:

University of Alabama Birmingham: Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, Birmingham, Alabama; Band of Vices Gallery, Los Angeles, California, Derek Eller Gallery, New York, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta, Georgia and the Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis, Missouri. He is the recipient of the 2020 Artadia Award and Working Artist Project and has taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland; Parsons The New School for Design, New York, New York; The Cooper Union, New York, New York and Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. His work is in the permanent collections of: Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, St. Louis, Missouri; Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, Atlanta, Georgia; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; Microsoft Collection, Seattle, Washington;Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama; The Hort Family Collection, New Jersey and New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta, Georgia and the Smithsonian Museum of Art, Washington D.C. 

About the art:

"As an artist, I have always been fascinated by the idea of otherworldly realms and the possibility of alternate realities. Through my latest series of twelve black and white washy ink drawings, I explore this concept further, seeking to transport viewers to a world beyond the bounds of our own. Each drawing is inspired by the word "otherworldly", and portrays a unique and fantastical scene that challenges the limits of our imagination. Whether it is a mystical creature from a far-off land, a portal to an unknown dimension, or a fragmented explosion of eyes and body parts, each image invites the viewer to explore a world that is both familiar and strange. In these drawings, I use a variety of techniques and textures to convey a sense of depth and mystery. Bold lines and stark contrasts create a sense of tension and drama, while intricate details and subtle shading draw the viewer into the image, encouraging them to linger and explore. My mission is for these drawings to inspire viewers to step outside of their everyday lives, and to consider the possibility of otherworldly realms and alternate realities. By creating a bridge between the real and the imagined, I seek to open up new vistas of creativity and wonder, and to remind us that the boundaries of our world are only as limiting as our own imagination."


“Drawings from the imagination”

India Inkwash and spray paint on paper


“Racing through Life”

India Inkwash and spray paint on canvas


“If I were a King for just one day”

India Inkwash, on canvas and antique frame

“Do U give your body back when U go”

India ink wash and spray paint on canvas


“A Living Daymare”

India Inkwash and colleague elements on Drywall


“I send my love to U…”

India Inkwash on drywall and framed drawing on paper

“Beings Comfortable and Uncomfortable at the same time”

India inkwash and spray paint on wood panels


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