A mother-son team brings unique perspective to Crosstown Arts Gallery

"Michael Williams is a visually impaired painter.

Crosstown Arts is pleased to present an exhibition of over 50 paintings by Crosstown residents Michael Williams and his mother, Mattie Williams. Although working in clearly distinct styles, their process involves a delicate exchange: Mattie inspired Michael to paint, and Michael names Mattie’s paintings. Both artists are self-taught and have been painting most of their lives. Michael is visually impaired, so he uses tools like powerful magnifying glasses and bright lights to enhance his limited field of vision, seeking to capture realistic perspectives in his landscapes. Mattie uses acrylic paint to create abstract works with bold colors and repeated patterns, often floral or geometric forms. Together, their works demonstrate how the act of creating can strengthen the ties that bind people to one another — through family, through paint.

Michael was born with an eye disorder known as Stargardt’s Disease and recently founded a non-profit organization, International Association for Sight Impaired Artists. The organization’s mission is to educate, empower and support individuals who are blind or visually impaired to be involved in the visual, performing and literary arts. Michael hopes to inspire others with sight impairments not to limit themselves creatively."