Chris Willard maintains a practice incorporating both painting and writing. He received his BFA from the Maine College of Art and his MFA from Hunter College where he went on to teach before moving to Canada. He now heads the painting program at the Alberta College of Art + Design. His art has been shown internationally and is represented in numerous collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Reader’s Digest Corporation and the Visby Konstmuseum, Sweden; he is currently represented by the Herringer Kiss Gallery. Willard’s published novels include Sundre (2009, Vehicule/Esplanade) and Garbage Head (2005, Vehicule/Esplanade). Other fiction and non fiction have appeared in magazines and anthologies including Leonardo, Ukula, Ars Medica, Third Wednesday and most recently Can’t Lit: Fearless Fiction from Broken Pencil Magazine. He has also written reviews and columns for the Calgary Herald, American Artist, BookPleasures and Canadian Art.
“When I was small, our town was gut-punched by a thunderstorm, the severity of which must have been astounding because my mother, a generally rational being, demanded everything be unplugged and that my brother and I sit on the middle of the staircase where we watched the visual shiver of light and shadow in the raindrops speckling our windows. Jump ahead to late last year when I happened upon John Dalton’s 1793 book Meteorological Observations in which he chronicled thunderstorms at Kendal and Keswick in England over a five year period. I had already known of Dalton through his pioneering work on colour blindness. I was singularly haunted by the entry for 1791, “The phenomena that took place this year, if any, were not noticed.” My painting and writing is frequently framed by the clock and the lens, and this wall painting is no exception. It presents my thinking about the way in which time wreaks havoc with perception and memory.”
Chris Willard, The phenomena that took place this year, if any, were not noticed, 2010. Latex, acrylic, graphite on wall.
© 2010 Art Gallery of Alberta. All rights reserved.