Willy Bo Richardson

Willy Bo Richardson is a Think Jar Collective contributor

Willy received an MFA in painting from Pratt Institute in 2000. He lived in New York City for a decade before moving to Santa Fe, NM. In addition to positions held at various universities, including Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Richardson exhibits his work internationally. In 2011 his work was included in an exhibition at  Jason McCoy Gallery in New York titled, “70 Years of Abstract Painting – Excerpts”. For this exhibition, his work was shown along side important contemporary painters of the last 70 years, such as Josef Albers, Al Held, Man Ray, Hans Hofmann and Jackson Pollock.

In line with thought jarring’ experiences that shake loose a new perspective, part of how Willy’s foundations in color theory came about  was through an unexpected encounter with the colors of a banal, everyday object… a Doritos chip bag, Click here for article.

On teaching creativity, Willy says, “The ability to listen and respond is essentially what I strive to teach. Some say, only technique can be taught, but I’ve found that when my students paint themselves into a corner, or take risks or get frustrated, we begin to have a deeper conversation. I can guide them into being honest with themselves.  I can feel the difference between a “should” and a “want”, because I’ve been standing in front of canvases decoding these same messages.  Invariably, all my students, whether they are 18 or 65, have this idea that they “should” do something, for example, fill in the background to”finish” the painting. I help them listen and find their “want”. The outcome is dynamic and fresh and the students learn to listen to their muses.” 

Last summer (2011) Willy taught a student that has autism and was impressed how this student could jump into his paintings with vigor, intelligence and bypass some of the hesitancies of his classmates.  Willy said, “Despite this young man’s inability to describe his work, everyone in the class was jealous of him.”

Check out Willy’s site here: Willy Bo Richardson

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