Moore’s AICAD Fellow Brings Humor, Social Commentary to Her New Job

Portrait of Kelli Williams

Photo Courtesy of Moore College of Art and Design

Kelli S. Williams has joined Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia as an AICAD Post-Graduate Teaching Fellow.

Williams is a visual and community artist. In her personal work she uses experimental animation, photography, installation and humor to create work that comments on society through the lens of social media and technology. She is an alumna of Morgan State University where she majored in fine art, with a concentration in photography. She recently graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbus College of Art & Design. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally and has been featured in the Huffington Post, Columbus Live, Hyperallergic, Artnet, and Baltimore magazine.

The AICAD Fellowship offers eligible candidates a one-year teaching fellowship at a participating AICAD institution. Williams is one of twelve fellows selected for the 2017-2018 academic year. The following is a transcript of an interview with Williams.

What classes are you teaching here at Moore?
I am currently teaching Animating the Image in the Photo & Digital Arts Department, History of Animation and Game Arts in the Animation & Game Arts Department, and the Visual Thinking course in the Foundation Department.

What projects have you done that you are most proud of? I would say one of the socially engaged art projects that I am most proud of is the project I created in collaboration with Christopher Metzger and the Morgan State University Art Department, a historically black college in Baltimore and my alma mater. We created the project as a part of the Inside Out Project, a global art initiative created by JR, the artist. Our group action is a visual response to the Black Lives Matter movement and commented on the invisible boundaries placed on the African American community. One of my favorite solo projects is my current web series called This is Tru. The series uses the protagonist Tru and her family, who live inside of social media, to explore and critique our interaction with social media platforms and technology.

Kelli S. Williams, Signage

Kelli S. Williams, Signage, photograph from the series Restricted

What type of art do you practice? I am primarily a stop-motion animator, photographer and community artist, but I also use installation and video as well. Stop-motion is pretty all-encompassing with the skills that I use to complete a project. It usually includes sculpting, sewing, woodworking, mold making and painting to create the sets and puppets for the film. That is one of the reasons I love stop-motion animation.

What are your plans for the future? One of my ultimate goals is to open a small animation firm that creates stop-motion work for clients, but I also see teaching being something I pursue in the long run as well. Currently my plan is to keep making work that I am proud of and find people to pay me to do all the stuff I love to do.

What are you doing when you aren’t teaching at Moore? I currently work as a freelance photographer and animator creating content for small businesses and clients.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working? I visit my family a lot. That is the perk of me living in a city closer to them. I am very family oriented and it also helps because they somehow always help me come up with material for my web series.

~ Post originally written by Mellany Armstrong, Associate Director of Communications at Moore College of Art and Design. Published November 15, 2017.