As community members walk by Hanes Art Center, their eyes might gravitate toward the large black and white drawings printed on the walls of the John and June Allcott Gallery.
Visible even from a distance through the glass windows, the drawings are a part of UNC alumnus Antoine Williams’ newest exhibit, "Something in the Way Of Things."
Some of the collection is based on sketches the artist created throughout different phases of his career.
Williams graduated from UNC Charlotte in 2003 and received a Master of Fine Arts from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is currently an assistant professor of drawing at the University of Florida.
Williams’ art has been displayed in several venues, including the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, 21c Museum Hotel and Elsewhere Museum.
His work is often an intersection of speculative fiction, monster theory, surrealism and critical race theory that investigates contemporary Black experiences, according to his artist statement for the gallery.
“I'm not thinking, 'Oh, let me make this palatable for an audience,'" Williams said. "It's, 'What's the way I can express these ideals that seem relevant and that for me, I haven't seen expressed or toned in this manner?'”
He said he is influenced by the works of writers such as Saidiya Hartman and James Baldwin, but also "fantastical" writers such as Octavia Butler and H.P. Lovecraft.
In one of the gallery's pieces, “Other Suns," Williams said that he explored the idea of Black people constantly moving from space to space looking for spaces of liberation, which translated into the creation of multi-limbed organic forms working in perpetual movement.