Sandy Williams IV ¬

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Photo by Fresh Look Photography.


Williams is continuing an exploration of the Freedmen’s Bureau and what happened to the former slave populations in the United States, as they navigated establishing communities as freed peoples. Williams was parterned with Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, The Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Norfolk State University for the More Than Shelter exhibition.

SANDY WILLIAMS IV is an artist and educator currently based in Richmond, VA. Williams participated in two New Waves exhibitions, 2018 and 2019. He won Best in Show in 2018.

Williams primarily works in sculpture, film, text and public performance. They have exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art at VCU, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, The Harnett Museum of Art  at the University of Richmond; NADA House (NYC); De Boer Gallery (LA); Springsteen Gallery (Baltimore).

Their work is about the persistence of memory, the body, and resistance. Williams tasks audiences with agency in order to generate both public and private opportunities for collaborative engagement.


DR. CASSANDRA NEWBY-ALEXANDER In addition to serving as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Dr. Newby-Alexander is also a professor of history and the director of the Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for African Diaspora Studies. Her book publications include Virginia Waterways and the Underground Railroad (2017), An African American History of the Civil War in Hampton Roads (2010), co-authored Black America Series: Portsmouth (2003), Hampton Roads: Remembering Our Schools (2009), and co-edited Voices from within the Veil: African Americans and the Experience of Democracy (2008).


More Than Shelter

More Than Shelter


The essentials for human survival are food, water, and shelter. These needs take precedence over all the others. Virginia MOCA continues our investigations of basic human needs with the new exhibition More Than Shelter. Eleven artists received an invitation to participate in this exhibition. We asked each one to consider what the idea of shelter means to them and choose an avenue of investigation. The artists connected with partners who provided unique insight into their area of expertise. Shelter is both a verb and a noun. It can mean a home, a community, or the people and places that makes us feel safe and welcomed. It also means to listen, care, and to support one another, our community, our land, our minds, our society, and our futures.


October 8, 2022-February 5, 2023