Anthony Williams loves art. Having worked as a muralist around Manchester — he helped organize “Cats Alley” a few years ago, and helped start Eagle Eyes, a city beautification project — he feels there’s no question how creativity used in art can help people heal or have a purpose.
What he wants to know is why you like art — and what you’re doing artistically in Manchester. His TV show Art Expressions, on Manchester Public TV channel 23, invites local artists to talk about their art.
“Art should be something that survives the economic times we go through ... we’re not known for our art [here in Manchester], but maybe it’s time that we were,” Williams said. In his third year of doing this show, he wants the public to realize how much talent there is in this city.
He got the idea to create this television show celebrating public art when he was going through some of his own things — boxes of art under his bed, half-done canvas paintings, some finished, some nearly complete.
“I used to do lots of painting, and then I just stuck it in boxes. They weren’t bad — what good was it if nobody would see it?” he said.
His role with Eagle Eyes, working with local kids, influenced him.
“I came away thinking that these young people…they have so much talent, and they don’t even know it,” he said.
He started the show in 2009, and in it he encourages artists to go through their “boxes under the bed” and bring their art in.
“People say Manchester is a mill town. … There are people who do mill carvings, interior decorations,” he said. His show is like a talk show, set in front of a Manchester cityscape backdrop. He asks guests why they like art and invites them to talk about their work.
It started out once a month. Now he does about two per month; if time allows, he’d love to film at least three in the Manchester TV studio on Elm Street. He’s gotten many positive responses to the show, from the artists and from viewers who have seen it.
“There’s something about art — it has therapeutic value in more ways than one. I’ve seen art intervene in people’s lives in that it turns people around. ... I think everyone has a talent to a certain degree. I’ve seen young kids ... only 18 years old, and they’re like little DaVincis,” he said, getting ready to record an episode featuring Carolina Chauvette and Paul Davidson.
He brings in artists from the New Hampshire Institute of Art and the Manchester Artists Association.
“It’s really kind of a personal thing,” Williams said. “I try and introduce the public to the artist and the artist to the public.”