Diasporal Rhythms
William Toliver
September 28, 2023
Artist Profile

William Toliver

William Toliver spent more than 38 of his 48 years perfecting his skill as an artist.  William’s passion for art began at the age of seven, while shadowing, his mother  conducted art contests between herself, Tolliver and his older brother; to see who  could draw the best. Although his brothers’ interest in art waned, however,  William’s did not. In the spring of 1991, William relocated from Lafayette, LA to  Atlanta, Georgia to pursue art full-time. After several successful years as an artist,  William became the first African-American to open an art gallery in the district of  Buckhead in Atlanta, Ga.  


Among his many achievements, Tolliver’s works have travelled with the  Smithsonian Museum of Art, and he was commissioned by the Olympic Games  Committee to create a piece, depicting the “Spirit of Georgia”; for the 1996  Olympic Games held in Atlanta, GA. “Art demands a response, whether it’s good  or bad”; that was Tolliver’s objective. When looking at his work, one is sure to  respond to the artist’s creative and vivid use of colors, his composition, lines or  subject. In all of those areas, he demonstrated the “God Given” talent that he  discovered early in life.