As she likes to say, she had a “been there, done that” basis on which to build.
It was due to her past experience with Arts Clayton that Williamson is calling herself the “old-new” manager of this mecca for art patrons throughout Clayton and surrounding counties.
Williamson, who said she has lived and worked in Clayton County for more years than she would like to remember, was the Arts Clayton Gallery manager for five years when the facility was on South McDonough Street.
“I was the manager when we facilitated the move from that location to our present one on South Main Street,” she said. “That was an exciting time.”
Although circumstances at that time necessitated her leaving the gallery for six years, she has returned and the old feelings she experienced before with Arts Clayton has again taken over, making the transition smooth and enjoyable for her, gallery staffers and, most importantly, patrons of the arts who frequent the gallery.
Williamson, who has two grown children and a grandchild, said the same activities that made her take the gallery manager position five years before have not only remained a big part of her life but has intensified upon her return.
“Working with the artists and witnessing their maturing and growing in their chosen medium have always been exciting to me,” she said.
“The Arts Clayton Gallery is a busy place because there is always something new going on,” Williamson added.
Although she and the artists that enhance the gallery with their array of paintings, drawings and sculptures maintain a good professional relationship, their association has also helped to solidify the personal relationship Williamson has developed with most of them.
“I have always enjoyed working with gifted people,” she said. “For me, with our contributing artists and the outstanding staff I am privileged to work with here, I am surrounded by, and have developed a very personal relationship with all of them which is built on a foundation of love for the arts and what the arts can do to help a community grow.”
Williamson studied art at Clayton State University with the intention of becoming an arts teacher. An artist herself, she was named winner of the university’s Purchase Award for her art department submission, “Day Lilies.”
She can’t say a specific art medium style or artist is her favorite because, as she puts it, “there is beauty on all art forms painting, photography and sculpture.