Before Kelli Williams started at CCAD, she was a photographer. Now Williams (Master of Fine Arts, 2017), blends experimental animation, photography, and installation — along with a hefty dose of wit — to as she creates art exploring social media’s impact on society. “Before I started at CCAD, I was a photographer,” she said. “I don’t think I understood all the things animation could be at first. [At CCAD] I learned a lot about these different processes and to think about animation in a different way, to think about art in a different way.” Read more below.
Kelli Williams (Master of Fine Arts, 2017) grew up on social media. The artist’s first work could perhaps be the Zac Efron wallpaper she used to make for her MySpace page.
“It’s a weird life that we have based on this web life that we create,” she said.
Williams’ observational sense of humor about society’s radical shifts courtesy of social media is a constant theme in her work, a blend of experimental animation, photography, installation, and, of course, wit. Her stop-motion series, This is Tru, has a political undercurrent, too, reflective of the tone in almost everyone’s newsfeed.
“Social media is something I’ll always explore in this show,” she said. “It’s interesting how you can see someone post something very serious or very sad on Facebook or Instagram, but then right beneath it is a cat video or a cute picture.”
This is Tru tackles that jarring nature of how we consume news and imagery today. Williams is currently working on producing the 10 new episodes she has written and will balance her studio practice with her new role as a fellow at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia, which began in fall 2017.
The position is part of a prestigious Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design fellowship for 2017 – 18. Among her responsibilities, Williams will teach stop-motion animation in an experimental animation class — something she’s prepared for thanks to her time at CCAD.
“Before I started at CCAD, I was a photographer,” she said. “I don’t think I understood all the things animation could be at first. [At CCAD] I learned a lot about these different processes and to think about animation in a different way, to think about art in a different way.”
She’ll tap into that, too, as she co-teaches alongside six others in a class called Visual Thinking that introduces Moore College freshman to artmaking. The goal: help students explore the same thing her CCAD professors helped her see.
“We’ll teach students how to think more about their art and how to create the process around it,” she said. “Even in theory classes at CCAD, I saw a bunch of teaching styles. I look forward to trying to find my own way and learn to teach how I like to teach.”