Illustrations by Local Artist, Tracy Williams, on Display in the Gulf Coast Library

News item published on: 2017-05-09 14:26:26

The Gulf Coast Library at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach is currently exhibiting illustrations by local artist Tracy Williams.

The exhibit, Where Fashion Illustration Comes to Play: the Paper Doll Art of Tracy Williams, will be on display through July, with an exhibit opening and reception on Thursday, June 15 from 4 – 6 p.m.

“In illustration the reproduction is the original, which sets the work of illustrators apart from that of other artists. An illustrator creates with the reproduction in mind,” said Williams. “For me, this is what makes viewing original illustrative works interesting. The work in this exhibit fits into the illustration category. All of these pieces were researched and created for the paper doll sets I have designed.”

After realizing she could get paid to draw for a living, Williams enrolled in art school and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in fashion illustration. Years later, in graduate school, she rediscovered her love of paper dolls, so much so, she made paper doll art the focus of her master’s thesis.

“The starting point for me has always been a fascination with fashion and a desire to document it visually. I love to draw clothes, and I love to research who wore what, when and why,” said Williams. “It is my hope that this exhibit will reawaken a love of paper dolls for those whose memory of playing with paper dolls is sweet. Additionally, I want to introduce the art and play of paper dolls to those who have not encountered them before.”

Today, Williams is part of the advertising community, coordinating media for one of the Gulf Coast’s largest casinos and serving on the board of her local chapter of the American Advertising Federation. Her professional history includes designing logos, ads, promotional material and packaging for clients as diverse as J.C. Penney, Belk, Matco Tools, NAPA Auto Parts, and the Racine Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. She is a five-time ADDY Award winner for illustration and design. 

Williams currently lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast with her family. She draws and paints paper dolls whenever she can, but is sometimes seen at her sewing machine, planning her next cosplay or training for a 5K race or half-marathon. 

For more information on the exhibit, contact Betty Shaw, access services financial coordinator, at the Gulf Coast Library at 228.214.3450.