ENGLEWOOD — A local artist is looking for community support to bring an art gallery to Englewood, a showplace he hopes could inspire local young people.
Jimmy Williams, 56, who has lived in Englewood for a little over a decade, has big plans for a building on 64th Street and Ashland Avenue. His vision is to move his in-home studio into the building and use it as a hub for local vendors and a space for community art events.
Williams also wants to purchase nearby property. His goal is to raise $335,000. People can donate online through his GoFundMesite here.
Williams remembers that as a child, there were a lot of small business owners in the black community. He hopes that by putting an art gallery in Englewood, he’ll inspire local youth.
“I want to show the shorties, the little young cats, that you can do whatever you want. You just can’t be influenced by your peers,” he said. “If you have skills, develop them and then show them. Show by doing.”
The abstract artist grew up in Lawndale. His first piece sold for $25, he said.
“I was on the back porch drawing as usual,” he said. “One of my neighbors and his wife came up and they saw me drawing some pictures. They knocked and asked my mom if she would let me come to their house upstairs and paint a picture of Mickey Mouse on their wall."
In the early 1990s, Williams’ owned a screen printing business. Currently, he has an online abstract T-shirt business. His work can be viewed online at www.Jimmywilliamsonline.com.
Art has always come natural for Williams, he said. Inspiration can come from anything, he said.
“I just love creating things out of thin air,” Williams said. “It can come from a situation or a point of view. It just comes so naturally. I don’t know where it’s coming from.”
His work is being featured at Hamilton Park Cultural Center, alongside other local artists. An open house titled "Creativity of the Senses" is in Englewood at the park, 513 W. 72nd St.
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