Associate Professor William Fillmore was featured on WMHT’s “AHA” (A House of Arts) recently.

William Fillmore, associate professor of 3D art and extended media at Russell Sage College, was recently featured in an episode of “AHA” (A House of Arts) on WMHT. The program showcased his unsettling art – a cast of characters that dwelled in our childhood imaginations and nightmares.

“I make intentionally creepy stuff,” Fillmore, who has been teaching at Russell Sage since 2016,  told “AHA.” “I really like to take the things that I don’t like about society or the things that I’ve experienced and I try to replicate that in 3d materials. In the end, it’s all about making work that makes people stop and wonder ‘Why the hell would anyone make that?’”

A baby covered in Fillmore’s own hair, a doll fished out of the trash and set within a dainty floral shadow box, and creepy clowns are among his body of work.

After earning a Business Administration degree in 2005 from California State University of Fullerton, he pursued his desire for making art, earning his MFA in Sculpture in 2013 from Indian University, Bloomington, Indiana. Working in multiple sculptural disciplines from ceramics, cast metal, and fabricated steel, he describes his sculptures as a “grotesque surrealistic testament to the indelible sting of nostalgia and regret.”

Fillmore has served in numerous Artist in Residence programs, including The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta, Canada; Core Clay Studios, Cincinnati Ohio; Franconia Sculpture Park, Schafer, Minnesota; Campos De Gutierrez, Medellin, Colombia; Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont; and Arts Letters & Numbers, Averill Park, New York.

In the classroom, Fillmore uses his work as an example of making art that an artist wants to make, and avoids making work that one feels they “have” to make, consequently helping students to trust their interests and cultivate their tastes, eventually making their dreams and/or nightmares come true…

Once afraid of what lurked in his closet as a child, Fillmore says, “I feel like I am no longer afraid of the closet but now I’ve become the thing in the closet.”

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