I was born in Neptune, NJ, under the astrological sign of Pisces, the fish, in the year of the water dragon according to the Chinese calendar. I am the elder child of two elder children. My parents, the BMOC (Morris Brown College) and the way  too smart for her age cheerleader (Spelman College), were educators in the Atlanta Public School system for over 40 years. I attended St. Paul of the Cross Elementary, D’Youville Academy and St. Pius X High Schools and West Hunter Street Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. I have earned my BFA (studio) from Stephens College, Columbia, MO, married, reared 2 ½ smart, well-spoken, talented, beautiful children. I worked for a major air carrier for 29 years and took early retirement in 2009. I helped to found and run two influential Black artists collectives - ULOZI and Sankofa Art Collective in Denver, CO from 1989 -2010. I moved back home to Atlanta, GA in 2010, and with my husband, artist Irvin Wheeler.

Aside from the handmade Black paper dolls my mother and I made, my first actual piece of visual art was a papier-mâché bust of my biology lab partner. It was a defining moment. I had found the thing I was good at - my life’s calling. While studying art history at Stephens College (Columbia, MO), I was heavily influenced by European master painters – Albrecht Durer’s line, Raphael’s portraits, Degas’ composition, Rubens’ lusty female forms and Velazquez’s dramatic lighting. I began my art career as a portrait painter in oils. I quickly discovered several very important facts about myself and my audience: most people are much happier with fast, cheap and accurate photographs of themselves; European visual art is not the only standard of 'good art'; I was really lousy with oil paints; and, finally, that the rectangular format of most 'fine' artwork was too confining for me. So I changed my medium to acrylics on paper, corrugated cardboard and plywood, bas-relief sculpture in plastic based clay, and eventually, to fabric. I concentrated on topics of social commentary, women's sexuality, children and the Black American experience. My style - mostly representative and figurative - has remained  constant over my 40  year career.

 Many things inspire my work: a turn of phrase in the book I'm reading, the lyrics of a song, talking with my children, people-watching at the grocery store and current events. A piece of fabric will stimulate an 'art flash'  that results in  a painting or piece of sculpture. Having the idea is the easy part. Communicating that idea as a visual piece of art is the challenge. My motivating question is "What will happen if I do it this way?"

Currently, I paint using fabric as my pigment. In 2001 I began to integrate my skills as a painter  with my love of richly colored and textured fabrics to make 'cloth paintings'. Creating art with textiles is an ancient art form found in every human culture.  I have taken advantage of that rich history and applied it to a modern visual storytelling technique, using quilting, embroidery, beading and other  surface applications and embellishments.

The art of quilting specifically informs my textile work as I often use bits and pieces of fabric gleaned from worn, discarded and hand me down sources. My work is large scale, averaging 5 x 6 feet. That takes a lot of fabric, so I am particularly grateful to the many art lovers who have donated fabric,sheets, old clothes, lace, buttons and trims to my creative efforts.

Thank you for viewing my web site.  I hope that you will take the opportunity to 'see' my work in person. There is a two dimensional quality that just does not translate in pixels.  There is no comparison between experiencing a piece of original artwork in the flesh versus a digital representation of it. Buy original art whenever you can. My friends say that I am better off selling 1000  prints (a commonly used misnomer for photographic representations) for $1 each than to wait for one person with $1000 to spend on one piece  I have struggled against that idea my entire career. I believe that, given the opportunity, most consumers would prefer to own original artwork.

For those of you who are interested in such things, an updated curriculum vitae  is included below. 


Coming Home Southwest Art Center, Atlanta, GA December 2017

Cloth Paintings by Dawn Wonder Fair Art Gallery at NAAQC, Lawrence, KS July 2017

Trunk Show at Atlanta Quilt Festival, Hammonds House Museum, Atlanta, GA August 2016

KUIBUKA! Bulloch Hall, Roswell, GA, January 2016

Womyn Mechanicsville Brach Library, Atlanta, GA, March 2016

Cribs, Laps and Beds Adamsville/Collier Heights Branch Library, Atlanta, GA, July 2013

2013 Corrugated Cardboard 1996-2000, Adamsville/Collier Heights Branch Library, Atlanta, GA April 2013

Sins of the Fathers Adamsville- Collier Heights Branch Library, Atlanta, GA February 2013

Art=Quilt=Art, Adamsville - Collier Heights Branch Library, Atlanta, GA  January 2012
Art Works, Blair Caldwell African American Research Library, Denver, CO December 2008
Dawn Williams Boyd Quilts, Blair Caldwell AARL, Denver, CO January 2008
Woman’s Work, O’Sullivan Gallery, Regis University, Denver, CO, January 2007


2020 Searching For Home, Dalton Gallery, Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA, 2020 AAFTA: Outsider Perspectives 2020, Haugabrooks Events, Atlanta, GA, 

2019 Fabric Flash, Chastain Art Center Gallery, Atlanta, GA, USA

2019 Fiberarts International 2019, Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

2019 Things That Matter, St George Art Center, St. George, UT, USA and Visions Art Museum, San Diego, CA, USA (2018) and Vision Gallery, Chandler, AZ, USA (2018)

2019 Soulful, d’Art Center, Norfolk, VA, USA

2018 The Search Within: Daughters of the Diaspora, Western Colorado Center for the Arts,Grand Junction, CO, USA                         

2018 Quilts=Art=Quilts, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, Auburn, NY, USA

2018 O Freedom, My Beloved, ZuCot Gallery, Atlanta, GA, USA

2018 unRuly, PlatteForum Art Center, Denver, CO, USA

2018 Callanwolde 2018 Juried Art Exhibition, Callanwolde Art Center, Atlanta, GA, USA

2018 And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual ConversationsUnderground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, October 2013 The California Museum,Sacramento, CA, The Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA (2017), Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, VA, USA (2016)

2018 Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Fitton Center for the Creative Arts,Hamilton, OH, USA

Inclusion: Diverse Voices of the Modern West, McNichols Building, Denver, CO, June 2017

Bequest:A heritage of Creativity, Mable House Gallery, Mableton, GA May 2017

Boycott: Artists Respond to Protest, Southwest Art Center, Atlanta, GA January 2017

Fiberart International 2016, Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA, May 2016

Extreme Fibers:Textile Icons and the New Edge, Muskegon Museum of Art, August 2015

The 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival, South Fulton Art Center, College Park, GA, August 2015

Great American Cover Up "Celebration!" Bulloch Hall, Roswell, GA, March 2015

Expressions in Equality, Visions Art Museum, San Diego, CA, January 2015

Women's Strength and Resilience, Angers Catholic University, Angers, France, October 2014

Art & Spiritualite: Liberte!, l'Eglise St-Joseph and l'Eglise Protestante Reformee, Angers, France June 2014

Themes of Black Identity in America, San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton, CA February 2014

Exhibiting Blackness, Evolve the Gallery, Sacraento, CA, February 2014

Pushing Boundaries, Republic Plaza, Denver, CO, January 2014

Quilts=Art=Quilts 2013, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, Auburn, NY, October, 2013

Post-Racial U.S.?, New Mexico State University Art Gallery, Las Cruces, NM, October 2013

Eve: In the Beginning, Evolve The Gallery, Sacramento, CA, September 2013

2013 Figurative Art Expo, Infinityartgallery.com, September 2013

The New World: Invitational, Art Students League of Denver at Carson Gallery, Denver, CO, July 2013

From The Mountain Top with AAFTA , Central Library Art Gallery Atlanta, GA February 2013

SHOUT, Avisca Fine Art Gallery, Marietta, GA, September 2011
Art Quilt Elements, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA , April 2010


And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations, Dr. Carolyn  L. Mazloomi, Schiffer Publishing, 2015

Quilting To Remember - Quilters Newsletter Magazine, December 2009/January 2010

 Fabric As Story: African Influences On Contemporary Quilts, Urban Spectrum,

 Me, Myself and I, Denver Voice, newspaper, June 2008

 Me, Myself and I – Platte Forum Hand Made Quilts, YourHub.com, May 2008  Stitches In Time, Westword, newspaper, May 2008


Honorable Mention Ribbon, Atlanta Quilt Festival, South Fulton Art Center, Atlanta, GA 2017

Second Place Ribbon,, Bequest: A Tradition of Creativity, Mable House Gallery, Mableton, GA 2017

Pollock-Krasner Grant , Atlanta, GA March 2014

Artist Residency at Platte Forum, Denver, CO April 2008


BFA (studio)  Stephens College, Columbia, MO in 1974.  . 

National Endowment for the Arts, Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth (Design, Museums, and Visual Arts) Panel, October 2008
Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute (Associate Selection), February 2007 and 2008
Denver Justice Center Public Art Commission 2008

Paper Quilt Mural Workshop at LP Miles Intermediate, Atlanta, GA, September 2015

Paper Quilt Workshop at Rough Riders Camp, Bulloch Hall, Roswell, GA , July 2015

Paper Quilt Workshop at Price Middle School, Atlanta, GA, March 2014

Underground Railroad Paper Quilt Workshop at Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library System's Roswell Branch, Roswell, GA, February 2014

 Paper Quilt Workshop at L.P. Miles Intermediary School, Atlanta, GA, October 2013

Presentation at Legacy Christian Academy, Atlanta, GA, February 2012
Presentation at Whitefield Academy, Mableton, GA, February 2012
Presentation and Workshop, ”Images and Identity”, University of Colorado at Denver 2009
Platte Forum Artist Residency, Denver, CO, April 2008


© 2018 By Dawn A. Williams Boyd.

All rights reserved.

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