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the gibbes museum of art

Elizabeth Williams

October 23, 2023 - December 31, 2023


Elizabeth Northcut Williams (“Beth”) is a fine artist living in North Charleston, whose diverse body of work can be found in collections all over the country. Since receiving her BFA in painting from the University of Evansville, she has developed a wide range of techniques in oil painting, watercolor, drawing, and mixed media. Creating everything from portraits to murals, Beth loves to translate ideas into meaningful visual expression, often combining traditional techniques with more contemporary, expressive applications. Inspired by beauty and redemption, she is forever grateful to honor the significance of her subjects.

Between You and Me 
While working in residence at the Gibbes, Williams is creating a series of narrative diptychs, exploring the act of listening to the lives and cultures of our ancestors. With a background in portraiture, she aims to challenge traditional practices by infusing figurative work with conceptual storytelling, emphasizing the beauty of diverse, multiethnic relationships. This series, titled “Between You and Me” seeks to create space for reflection on 400 years of history on this continent within the relatively intimate setting of 12 of her own ancestors. The subjects of the diptychs will be individuals from the artist's European lineage paired with those of African or Indigenous descent from the same time period, establishing real people within historically fictional relationships. The artist's personal history, tracing back to Pocahontas and John Rolfe, who documented 
the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Virginia, serves as a poignant backdrop for this endeavor. Notably, the individuals featured in these portraits will be portrayed as children, symbolizing our human vulnerability in the realms of both the past and the potential future. Alongside the figurative work will be small landscapes and abstracts that represent the impact of our environments and cultures. The artist designed frames for these pieces inspired by historical diptychs that were used for private devotion.