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Born and raised in Akron, Ohio - the rubber capital of the world - I currently live in Columbus, Ohio, where I work as an artist, college art instructor and graphic designer. I graduated from the Columbus College of Art and Design in 2003, where I studied Illustration, Fine Art and Art History. I've also taken graduate-level courses studying art crime. I have given several classes and lectures on the subject.

I live with a cat named Jasper. He has a knack for finding weird things in the basement that I've never seen before.

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Artist Statement

I am inspired by the way humans have used myth, folklore and storytelling throughout history as a means of reconnecting with the natural world. We have a habit of personifying animals in order to be able to relate to them on our level. In my drawings, I use the surrealistic juxtaposition of an animal in a man-made environment - either posing as a person or replacing man-made technology - to instill in the animal a humanlike personality but also to create an unusual, humorous or vaguely unsettling image.

My interest in history is a major motivating factor in my artwork. Sometimes I focus on times when human history clashed with natural history, such as in my Extinct Birds series, which shows birds that have gone extinct as a result of direct human interference. I depicted the birds dressed in clothing that was fashionable during the year that they went extinct as a way of visually connecting the animal's history with our own.

In other drawings, I imagine an alternate history where animals have taken the place of humans, like in my Explorers and Gilded Age series. In the Whaleplanes drawings, I replaced fighter jets and dirigibles with whales.

Another one of my latest projects involves illustrating the "Fearsome Critters of the Lumberwoods" - fantastical fictional creatures conjured up by lumberjacks while they sat around their campfires. These Fearsome Critters were their way of explaining unknown sights and sounds in the vast forests of North America.

Extinct Birds postcard collaboration \ 09.2014

Vogel postcard

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My Artwork in the Media

My artwork has been featured in a number of websites and magazines, including:

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Teaching Experience




3rd Annual Prime 8 Art League Event, at the Chop Shop, Chicago, Illinois.

Happy Together: A Wedding Exhibition, at the Cultural Arts Center, Columbus, Ohio.
Curated by Adam Brouillette and Meghan Kwast.

Drawings, at the Bexley Public Library, Bexley, Ohio.

Impact-Influence, a CCAD CE faculty exhibition at the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, Ohio.


RAW Cincinnati presents: Elevation, at Bogart's, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Explorers, at the Explorers Club Restaurant, Columbus, Ohio.


Art for Life 2012 Auction for the AIDS Resource Center Ohio, hosted by the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio.

From A Different Flock, at the Ohio Art League Gallery, Columbus, Ohio. Curated by Paul Richmond.


New Narratives: Paintings by Ohio Artists, at the Ohio Arts Council Riffe Gallery, Columbus, Ohio.
Curated by Dominique H. Vasseur, European Curator at the Columbus Museum of Art.


I Could Swear I Saw a Light, at the Ohio Art League Gallery, Columbus, Ohio. Curated by Jeff Sims.


Drawings, in a business space in the Short North gallery district, Columbus, Ohio.


Brian Williams & Paul Richmond: Recent Works, Worthington Municipal Building, Worthington, Ohio.
Curated by Catherine Sheridan, Worthington Arts Council.

Participated in staff art exhibition, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio.


Emerging Artists: A Collection, Legend Gallery, Zanesville, Ohio. Curated by Linda Regula.


The Dreaming: Works by Katy Schepers and Brian Williams, in a business space in the Short North gallery district, Columbus, Ohio.

The Ohio Art League Fall Juried Exhibition, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio.


Oneiric, Senior Thesis Exhibition, Canzani Center Gallery, The Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, Ohio.

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work email: brianrwilliamsart@gmail.com
school email: bwilliams.1@ccad.edu

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