Art exhibitions are a staple of fall in the Hudson Valley, and “The Lovebugs” is the newest one travelling from Catskill to Kingston. Created by Artist Amelia C. Williams, this show is comprised of a mesmerizing mix of media that comes together to erect an alluring show that explores difficult themes relating to love and loss. Williams debuted “The Lovebugs” earlier this year in Catskill in July, and the show is now open to the public at The Black Library in Monticello.
Although Williams was not always an artist, she has always been a creative type, having worked in fashion for 15 years in every job from designing to creative directing. Across her substantial fashion career, mood boards were one constant that she really loved to create, and she tapped into this passion to become the artist she is today. Originally, she thought she had to focus on a single material to be an artist, but after taking a step back, she realized her artistic direction could flow more without boundaries of material or theme.
As a result, “The Lovebugs” was born. The show brings together all of Williams’ art in a style very reminiscent of mood boards and collage and not uninspired by Basquiat. All the pieces in the show are mixed media, using materials like acrylic, blacklight, chains, paint, and anything else Williams felt drawn to in her process. She affirms that she is a very tactile person and loves having creative range when it comes to using textiles and miscellaneous objects in her work, picking up random materials as she goes along and using whatever fits her feeling in the moment.
While the mediums and compositions of each piece are specific to Williams’ own emotions and are influenced by her experiences with love, her main goal is to have her audience interpret these pieces through their own perceptions. Because of this, it is difficult for her to define the themes of “The Lovebugs” objectively, but an overarching message the show communicates is the feeling of loss associated with a breakup, and how losing love or lust can really feel like drug withdrawal.
Williams’ background as a mixed-race millennial woman has an influence on her work as she portrays a viewpoint of stress and confusion with her racial identity through the raw imagery and dramatized characterizations she employs in her art. Similarly, 2000s culture also has a place in her pieces as she juxtaposes flares of emo culture from the early 2000s, the innocence and passion of first love, with illustrated depictions of chaotic, obsessive attachment fueled by trauma.
“Her themes buzz a nerve conjuring painful moments you hoped to have buried – uncovering our darkest thoughts in order to heal.”
Music also plays a large part in Williams’ art show as Hudson Valley-based band Adventure, lead by Antony DiGiacomo, provided a musical backdrop for “The Lovebugs” at the show’s debut. Williams says that her art and synergy matched up well with DiGiacomo’s, so they needed to work together, and the result is a cohesive and immersive experience that harmonizes pop art and pop punk.
As “The Lovebugs” moves around the Hudson Valley, Williams will host more immersive experiences similar to the show’s debut with music and blacklight effects. It’s important for both her and DiGiacomo that the music is specific to each venue and fits to the space that’s hosting the show. While she is passionate about her art and loves to talk about her work, she prefers audiences to be surprised and have their own personal connections with the show – so you’ll have to see it for yourself.
“The Lovebugs” will be at Big Cat Studio in Kingston on October 21 for a ticketed opening party and will stay on exhibition at the space afterwards for private showings.