Greater Reston Arts Center Presents Stephanie J. Williams Things That Don’t Have Names

By Editorial Team on April 22, 2019

Sat, 27 April 2019 - Sat, 22 June 2019

Stephanie J. Williams, Things That Don’t Have Names (detail), 2019. Courtesy of GRACE.
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 27 from 5pm to 7pm

Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) presents Stephanie J. Williams: Things That Don’t Have Names, a site-specific sculptural installation in a solo exhibition of interdisciplinary, DC-based artist Stephanie J. Williams, on view April 23–June 22, 2019 at the gallery located at the Reston Town Center. The exhibition is curated by GRACE Executive Director and Curator, Lily Siegel.

Williams has long been concerned with the creation of identity through omission and inclusion, fragments, perceived and constructed narratives, inside and outside, and ingestion. Over the years, she has built a lexicon of visual morphemes, pitches, and syllables that can be configured and reconfigured to form cohesive bodies (of work). She takes these pieces, made of yet smaller parts—fabric remnants, cheap and bulk materials, and found materials—to create the semblance of a larger organism that continues to remain nameless despite its uncanny familiarity. There are body parts, food parts, parts of clothing, glimpses of the locker room and the clubhouse, parts of you, parts of me, and parts of her. Williams continues to expand her vocabulary through animation, sculpture, drawing, and installation in persistent response to the question, “What are you?”

The exhibition, that artist’s largest installation to date, includes recognizable components from her past work reimagined to more deeply consider American identity specifically. The title comes from a quote in the novel White is for the Witching (2009) by Helen Oyeyemi. “Well. I know of witches who whistle at different pitches, calling things that don’t have names.”

Williams received an MFA in sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design in Providence; a Sheridan Teaching Certificate from Brown University, Providence; and a BFA from James Madison University, Harrisonburg. She currently teaches animation at Maryland Institute College of Arts (MICA) and has participated in exhibitions at ‘sindikit, Baltimore; IA&A at Hillyer, DC; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington; among others. She is a 2019 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize finalist.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive schedule of programing, including a conversation between Williams and Saisha Grayson, curator of time-based media at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, taking place at GRACE.


  • Opening reception
    April 27, 5–7pm
    Free and open to the public
  • In Their Own Words: Stephanie Williams and Lily Siegel in conversation
    May 4, 3pm
    Free and open to the public.
  • Creative Response
    May 30, 7pm: Genevieve Villamora of Bad Saint
    June 20, 7pm: Presenter TBA. Held in conjunction with By The People
    Free and open to the public.
  • Meditation Workshop: Contemplating Creativity
    June 13, 7–8:30
    Email to register. Free for members of the Greater Reston Arts Center. $5 donation for non-members.
  • Artist-led Workshop: Stop-motion Animation Workshop with Stephanie J. Willams
    June 15, 1–3 pm
    $30. Register at
  • Insights: Saisha Grayson, curator of time-based media at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Stephanie Williams in conversation
    June 22, 3pm
    Free and open to the public.

Gallery Hours:

  • Tuesday–Saturday, 11am–5pm

Greater Reston Arts Center is located at 12001 Market Street, #103, Reston, VA.