Sculptor helps art come alive

Recently, a teacher created a statue of FAMU’s legendary football coach Jack Gaither. Larger then life Jack Gaither now sits as FAMU’s first monument and a great tribute at our university.

By a unanimous decision, a few former football players chose professor Chester L. Williams to sculpt the statue because of his popularity as an artist.

“I am the creator of my works, but for me they seem to have their own secret power, energy, even will,” Williams said.

Krastie Fernandes, 20, a physical therapy student from Ponte Vedra Beach, admires the way he teaches.

“He allows his classes to feel our art oppose from working in books all the time,” Fernandes said.

She attends his art appreciation class and enjoys the variety of cultures he has to offer. Williams also offers a wide selection of courses such as Sculpture I & II and Painting I & II. Williams received his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina. Later he obtained his masters degree in fine arts at the University of Michigan.

In class Williams explains how African-American artists have influenced his own personal works. One collection is entitled the “Head Collection,” which is a collection of African-inspired masks dating from the 16th to the 20th century.

Yvonne Tucker, an art history professor, has worked with Williams for a couple of decades and shares some common interests.

“He and I both are very interested in African sculpture,” Tucker said.

As a teacher Williams is fully committed to a multi-cultural approach but with a special emphasis on the contributions to western culture of peoples of Africa.

His subjects have not only enhanced his personal knowledge but have enabled his ability to improve classroom teachings and further expand the critical thinking of his students.

“Professor Williams allows his class to learn from their mistakes,” said Keva Turner,20, an art education student from New Jersey. “Williams is very friendly and sarcastic at the same time.”