Keith Williams in his gallery with his favorite piece “Azteca.”

Williams’ artistic endeavors began in his early teens with an interest in photography, when at the age of 13, his sister handed down to him a Polaroid Swinger camera. He eventually became an avid photographer and has had his photographs exhibited in art shows in Alpine, TX and in his own gallery in Santa Fe, NM. He closed his gallery in Santa Fe just after the market crashed in 2008. 

While living in Santa Fe, Williams worked as finance director for the local Habitat for Humanity.  The Habitat thrift store there brought in a lot of nice donated items including fine art, collectibles and home decor. Williams began buying things here and there at bargain prices to decorate his home. Eventually, he began incorporating his photography into some of the items he’d bought to make unique art pieces to hang on his walls or give to friends at Christmas and on birthdays.

Williams retired in 2015 and settled in Cortez because of his love of the outdoors and the beauty of the Southwest.  The house he purchased has a finished workshop in the back that he has turned it into his art studio and gallery. His collection of art and novelties, which includes several pieces of recycled art, inspired him to focus more seriously on his assemblage art – the creation of three dimensional art pieces using a varied array of everyday items.  Williams creates contemporary folk art assemblages that often have a whimsical or nostalgic theme. He calls his body of work Chance Curiosities. His passion and curiosity keep him inspired to turn everyday items into a unique pieces of art.

Because each piece I make is unique, I get to work with different materials and a different theme with each new assemblage. It never gets boring.

“Because each piece I make is unique, I get to work with different materials and a different theme with each new assemblage. It never gets boring,” says Williams. “I still incorporate my own photography into many of the pieces I create. Other items you might find in my pieces are old picture frames, jewelry, wood blocks, textiles, glass beads, assorted tiles, common household items, and miscellaneous tchotchkes and decorative items. Except for the random photographic print, a bit of acrylic paint and maybe a few nuts and bolts, 95% of the materials I use in my assemblages are items that I found at thrift stores or garage sales.”

Williams had a successful show of his work at the Cortez Cultural Center this past February. He also does volunteer work for the Cultural Center.  

Williams’ art studio and gallery is open by appointment.  Call him at 970-560-7536 or email him at ekw2112@gmail.com to schedule a visit to see his Chance Curiosities collection.  You can also find his artwork online at www.Etsy.com/shop/ChanceCuriosities.