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                             NOELLE LORRAINE WILLIAMS

Noelle Lorraine Williams is an artist whose life's work exemplifies her continued interest in engaging people in conversations using art, history and contemporary culture, as well as writing about the ongoing spiritual crisis in the United States.

Noelle Lorraine Williams, Black Spirit: Newark's Spiritual Rebellion, 2016-2017


Noelle Lorraine Williams was born in 1975 in Jersey City, NJ. She is a conceptual artist living and working in Newark, NJ.  Her work is a commitment to engaged and empowered communities by using culture and public conversations to explore our greatest fears as individuals within the context of community. 
Her practices include sculpture, photography, video, sound and live performance. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social and Historical Inquiry from The New School for Social Research. Williams has also participated in workshops at The Newark Museum Arts Workshop, The Art Students League, The Newark School of Theology, and The Open Center.
Over the past nine years, Williams’s work has garnered recognition. She has exhibited in group shows in New York, New Jersey, Louisiana and Philadelphia including The Newark Museum, Jersey City Museum, The African American Museum in Philadelphia, Rush Arts Gallery, Caribbean Cultural Center, Skylight Gallery, Newark Arts Council and Victory Hall amongst other public venues and private galleries. She has participated in juried and invitational group shows and is an award-winning artist. Her work has been critically mentioned in the New York Times, The Star Ledger, ARTNEWS, Code Z, WBAI, WNYC and she was cited as one of the “100 Women We Love” in GO NYC magazine for her work dealing with art and community. She was also awarded acceptance and completed Emerge 10 at Aljira, A Contemporary Arts Center in Newark, NJ.
Williams has been the recipient of grants and in-kind support for her public events including The Museum of African American Music, Newark, NJ and Liberation in Truth Social Justice Center in Newark, NJ.
She draws on her social justice work with students and community groups utilizing culture for transformative practices to inform her conceptual art work practice.
Williams’s background includes 13 years of student and community organizing including: co-founder of (high school) GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) BRIDGE and president of the group WOMEN OF COLOR, member of The New School for Social Research E.N.D. (EDUCATION NOT DOMINATION) and chair of the WORKING GROUP ON WOMEN’S ORGANIZING for The Audre Lorde Project and chair of the Program Committee for Arms Akimbo Organizing Institute (the first women of color organizing conference) in New York. Williams’s work as an activist has been recognized including being cited “Young Activists to Watch Out For” in the 2000 Heritage of Pride Guide. She also served as volunteer chair of the Newark Pride Alliance Citizen Council from 2009-2010 and was a donor member of Kitchen Table Giving Circle, a and volunteered for Newark Pride. She has developed and implemented art exhibitions and projects including the working plan and initial development meetings for the Newark Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Quilt and is building and researching the first “fairytale”  “Genocidal Music Remix” for her new project “The Black Women’s Fairy Tale Museum.” 
Williams is a student of ritual and world spirituality, which engages her multidisciplinary art practice as a path to social awareness and liberation.



​...If being predominantly Black alludes to lack of spirit and hopelessness, then what is there to do of the existence of Black-led organizations, spiritual spaces and leaders that work to build the spiritual wealth of the city? 

- Noelle Lorraine Williams

Meanwhile in Newark, Reimagining the Black Spirit in the Media: Newark at 350 Years