When one season ends, another always follows.
William J. Williams has gone through many seasons in his life. He has been a sculptor for more than half his life and has been working out of Rocheport, Missouri creating abstract and portrait sculptors for nearly three decades. Despite being in this season of his life for such a long time, it is about to come to an end.
After separating from his partner, Williams will take the remainder of the year to finalize his scheduled projects and move both his studio and his life to Columbia, Missouri. As anyone would be, he is nervous and not sure how to feel about starting another season in a brand new place, especially at the age of 83. Nonetheless, Williams is comforted by the fact that he will always have one constant: his art. He said that it is one of the things that has kept him sane during this major change.
Williams was late to pursuing sculpting but not late finding it.
One of the most life-changing seasons Williams ever had was after his service in Vietnam. It reminded him that “life could be over in an instant”, and that he shouldn’t waste his time doing anything less than what makes him truly happy. He took some time, thinking about the last thing that made him truly happy. Williams remembered studying Industrial Design at The Ohio State University, where he took as many sculpting classes as he could and where he first discovered his love for “the surreal”.
The choice was what he called a gamble. He was married with two children at the time, but he made the decision to go back and get his Masters in sculpting. People warned him of the life of an artist.
“They said ‘Bill you’ve lost your mind,’” Williams said. “No, I think I’ve found it.”
That gamble is what began the season of life that he wants to live in the longest.
His life as a sculpture.
Finishing his last few months in Rocheport, Williams has reveled in how much time he actually spent in this season of his life and how much he had experienced within the past thirty years.
“You don’t realize how much you accumulate in one place,” Williams said.
Although he now owns an apartment in Columbia, Williams has yet to begin the process of moving his belongings out of the studio. From books to smalls molds of what became much larger pieces of art to a bag of Coca-Cola cans, the smallest details in Williams’ studio have jumbled together in what has made the space home.
The clutter of an artist -- the remnants of this season before it finally comes to an end.
Text by Bailey Valadez
Photos by Jeffrey Zide
Photo Editing by Amanda Lee