Texas A&M University-Kingsville

A&M-Kingsville Art Department Alumnus Receives National Film Award

KINGSVILLE - November 23, 2010

Contact: Adriana Garza
adriana.garza@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4979

To an artist the task of expressing ideas and emotions through images is the at the crux of the artistic process. For Willie Williams—a 2006 Javelina alumnus—these are lessons and skills he learned during his years as an art major at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

 Williams’ ability to use images to convey ideas earned him the prestigious Princess Grace Kelly Film Award Scholarship in recognition of his animated work, Sold, which recounts a slave’s life journey. The Princess Grace Awards are presented to artists who show excellence and promise in their artistic fields. The film scholarship will help support Williams—currently a graduate animation and digital arts student at the University of Southern California—complete his thesis film projects.

 During his time at A&M-Kingsville, Williams said he received a solid foundation in the visual arts under long-time art professor Santa Barraza and others in the art department.

 “It was a great experience,” Williams said. “I have the greatest instructors who helped me to visually convey images and trained my eye to convey images, which led me to film.”

 Additionally, Williams said he was able to meet a variety of guest artists and participate in outreach programs that helped him develop a diverse set of skills that continue to help him expand his art.

 “All that helped me develop a personal feel for the profession,” Williams said. “It taught me how to approach professionals and speak with them and it also taught me how to listen. I was able to sit with the artists, have them review my work, take notes about what I did right and what I did wrong and apply it to my next project. The whole experience helped me appreciate that art is more of a collaborative process.”

 Williams, a Corpus Christi native and West Oso High School graduate, traveled to New York City earlier this month for the Princess Grace Kelly Awards Gala to accept his award. With celebrities including Denzel Washington, David Schwimmer and Lorraine Bracco in attendance, Williams admits he was star-struck, but knows the experience is one he’ll want to repeat.

“I want to win another,” Williams said. “It was the like Oscars—so nice and enriching.”


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