New gallery director excited for collaboration


Photo courtesy Brent Williams.

Brent Williams, a Taylor University graduate, has recently been hired as the new art gallery director of exhibitions for Calvin’s Center Art Gallery.

Williams, who started working at the art gallery on Feb. 21, plans to emphasize an interdisciplinary approach to the gallery during his time as the art gallery director, as he would like to engage with a variety of different students.

I would like to create a gallery exhibition program that allows students of all academic backgrounds to experience, explore and examine their academic and spiritual journeys through the lens of art,” Williams said. “Ultimately, I would like to create more opportunities for art to be seamlessly interwoven with public places and the overall campus experience.”

Williams hopes that he will be able to help connect different faculty and students to create opportunities for others to interact with the art pieces. For example, Williams has already mentioned a possible exhibition that they’re putting together that will focus on Mars and be connected to the physics and astronomy department.

“There’s been a lot of energizing talk and moves toward collaborative programming across departments here at Calvin,” said Paula Manni, Calvin’s arts program coordinator.

Williams is originally from Palm Springs, Calif. He was encouraged by his parents to pursue a creative career, which is why he often moved his schedule around to create space for art classes while in high school.

After graduating from Palms Spring High School in 2005, he attended Taylor University for a Business Management Systems major and Art minor until 2009. Following that, Williams went to Georgia Southern University for his graduate studies, receiving a MFA in three-dimensional art. He graduated in 2012.

Williams then served as the studio associate and gallery manager at Wheaton College from 2012 to 2016. After making the decision to move to Michigan, he was hired as the collections manager and associate preparator at the Muskegon Museum of Art from 2016 to 2018.

Williams is now taking the position left open by Joel Zwart, who left Calvin in 2017.

Professor Henry Luttikhuizen, Betty Sanderson and Paula Manni have been running the showings since Zwart’s departure. They worked together on setting up several exhibitions, including the exhibition celebrating “German Printmaking in the Age of Luther” and professor Frank Speyers’ recent solo show.

Williams hopes to continue this type of collaborative work as he looks forward to getting involved in the community, assisting with exhibitions and working with different departments while on the job.

“[The gallery is] a great exploratory space on campus for students of all majors, backgrounds, interests,” said Williams.