In addition to the music, cultural exhibits, vendors and other attractions at Saturday’s Ninth Annual Triad Juneteenth Africana Festival, art by woodworker LaVon Williams and other artists will be on display.
The festival will be held from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum Annex. Williams, creator of the National Black Theatre Festival logo, will feature several of his pieces and will showcase the conception and development of the famed NBTF logo he created in 1989.
Born in Lakeland, Fla. and raised in Denver, Colo., Williams now lives in Lexington, Ken. He comes from a long line of woodcarvers. He learned the craft from his brother, who learned from their great uncle. His great-grandfather was also a carver, and his grandmother was a quilt maker. While he started carving as a child, it wasn’t until he graduated from the University of Kentucky, where he helped lead the Wildcats to the 1978 NCAA basketball championship, that he could really focus on his calling.
“The minute I saw (wood carving), it was an immediate love. Even basketball was second to art,” he said. [pullquote][/pullquote]“Painting, drawing and sculpting is what I think I was born to do.”
Filled with movement, grace and strength, his colorful multi-dimensional works are filled with meaning and tell the stories of African American culture and experience.
The festival event is free and open to the public. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration marking the end of slavery in the United States.