October 2020 — Chesley Antoinette Williams ('13, M.F.A., Studio Art: Fibers), a graduate of Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas, with a B.F.A. in sculpture, was selected as the Paul Hanna Lecture Award recipient at this year's Texas Association for Art Schools, TASA, Conference. Williams, an adjunct art professor at Dallas College — Mountain View campus, has gained experience teaching in the classroom and online for the past six years within the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
The Paul Hanna Lecture Award began in 1994 as the result of a generous endowment set up to honor one of TASA's founding members, Professor Paul Hanna (1930-2015) of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. The Paul Hanna Lecture Award exists to provide a forum through which a selected studio artist can make an annual presentation for TASA.
Williams' Topic Title: Tignon
Description: This topic offers an educational experience combining historical imagery, contemporary photography, and textile sculpture that evaluates the history behind the headwrap as it relates to North America. Starting with the early colonization of Louisiana, the exhibition explores content surrounding the 1786 Tignon law, which became a symbol of rebellion represented by the free women of color population.
The body of work includes contemporary photography that references 18th-century paintings and drawings that showcase black women in turbans, 50 plus turban headwraps presented as sculpture, with no two alike, and a short three-minute documentary film featuring over 100 women who participated in a workshop titled “Heart of the Headwrap” in South Dallas.
Williams is the creator and designer of Cantoinette Studios, conceptualizing with sustainable practices in forms of sculptural installations, wearable art, and curatorial projects. Her current body of work explores 18th-century North America through turban headwraps and shares the history in forms of art exhibitions and interactive educational workshops. For more about Williams, visit her website, Cantoinette Studios.
For a list of past Paul Hanna Lecturer recipients, please visit the TASA officers/awards page.