Apr 022018

Walkway concept sketch for digitally printed ceramic steel panels offered through Designtex

My intention is to “disappear” the fine art into design:

Art in commercial and public spaces is often an afterthought and suffers from inattention. By subtracting the elements of a self-conscious art context, the result is physical space extended in the presence of art, with all the emotional power, but without the frame or the concrete ‘artness.’

My artwork is now available as printed wallcoverings, fabric, and window film through the Designtex Bespoke Portfolio program! Designtex is the leading company in the development, design and manufacturing of applied materials for the built environment. I am applying what I’ve learned as artist and educator to bringing the creative process to life through everyday environments and commercial products.

I have always been an environmentally conscientious person, but when I became sensitized to solvents and chemicals in 2016, safer studio practices and ecofriendly business partnerships became a top priority. A recognized innovator, Designtex is known for their rigorous and dedicated approach to research and development of products with reduced environmental impact. It is a carbon neutral company working internationally with the highest standards.

Fabric and wallcovering materials will be on display in my one person exhibition at Richard Levy Gallery titled Navigation April 20 – May 25, 2018. The materials used for the exhibition are DNA DW11 non-vinyl eco-friendly wallcovering and Brushed Flannel upholstery.

designtex richardson

Apr 112017

This article was republished in Pyragraph, April 2017. A more in depth interview with Friedhard Kiekeben of Nontoxic Print followed: NontoxicHub

I am happy to report that my health situation continues to improve and I am in my studio painting with safer studio practices and less toxic materials.

studio, willy bo richardson

“Seven Sisters” in the studio. Near completion. oil on canvas 53 x 57 in

February 2016, I taught a painting class on color theory and oil glaze techniques at Santa Fe University. Early in the semester I went home with a headache and nausea. I hadn’t exposed myself to anything unusual that day. The next morning, I woke up with what felt like a hangover, and from that day on I could no longer set foot in my painting classroom without feeling sick the rest of the day. I also could no longer enter my own studio! I had become sensitized to the solvents and cleaning agents used in my painting practice.

My life turned upside-down, as I learned to cope with the sudden onset of these new physical ailments related to my work. Aside from the emotions of fearing I may never paint again, I became physically sick when I walked down the detergent isle at a grocery store, entered a mechanic shop, or inadvertently set foot in a room where someone was painting their nails. On the worst day, I simply walked past the janitor cleaning cart at my daughter’s school and subsequently felt sick for hours afterwards. As well as nausea and headache, I had the new experience of my reptilian brain’s fight or flight response, along with “brain fog,” which felt like early onset dementia. Continue reading »

Feb 232016

Artist statement posted in:


My 8 year old daughter asked me if I can paint anything other than stripes… and she has a good point. Brilliant minds that I respect in the art world have asked me the same thing.  Yesterday, over breakfast, my family had a sketchbook out on the table and I drew a bagel. I exclaimed, “There! See, I can draw something!” We had a good laugh about it, but this pressing issue will not go away, and as the years go on, I continue to receive pressure from my friends and colleagues.

William Leddy

Residence designed by William Leddy. Plans are part of SFMOMA’s permanent collection. “Clockwork for Oracles” series

Continue reading »

Sep 302014

This year I was honored to be one of the eight SITE Santa Fe SPREAD finalists!

SITE Santa Fe

SPREAD is a community dinner that funds artists’ projects and creative initiatives. SPREAD seeks to provide micro-grants for innovative projects and artworks conceived by New Mexico-based artists.

SITE spread

Transcript from my speech (you’ll just have to imagine the slide show):

My first recorded work of art was an arc of family shoes. This was made when I was still crawling. I’ve always been attracted to beauty, simplicity and symmetry. These are the same principles we use to explore the world around us, and to build fantastic things- like particle accelerators. This is a process of discovery. The scientific method. In my painting practice I found an efficient way to work with these principles. I am looking for order without ignoring complexities.

Continue reading »

May 082014

Several of my paintings are included in the new book Contemporary Art of the Southwest, by Ashley E. Rooney. Foreword written by Julie Sasse, Chief Curator and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Tucson Museum of Art. The book’s intent is to take a fresh look at the magical and insightful ways artists have interpreted life in the Southwest.

Willy Richardson Contemporary Art Southwest Book

Book Signing
May 17, 2014 1:30 – 3:30 PM

2601 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Twenty three artists will be present. Join me at Artisan in celebrating the publication, and meet the artists!

Artists attending:

Jim Alford, Andrea Cermanski, Susan Contreras, Carlos Carulo, Upton Greyshoes Ethelbah, Jeanie Gooden, Geoffrey Gorman, Natasha Isenhour , Michael Kessler, Michael Kessler , Ellen Koment, Max Lehman, Arthur Lopez, Carole LaRoche, Margi Lucena, Mario Quilles, Nancy Reyner, Willy Bo Richardson, David Rudolph, Paul Shapiro, Jack Slentz, Carl Winters, Stephen Wood

Oct 112012

Phillips de Pury & Company: Watercolors
1 -19 October 2012
Monday – Saturday, 10AM- 6PM
450 West 15th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10011

Video footage from opening reception, courtesy of Diamond Shot Studio

To learn more about the process for this series of watercolors, read the Gallery Intell article: galleryIntell Willy Bo Richardson – Watercolors – Phillips de Pury

Phillips de Pury & Company:Watercolors, is an exhibition featuring a diverse group of contemporary works by artists who have moved beyond using watercolor as an auxiliary mode of expression to embracing it as their primary medium. The exhibition showcases over 80 abstract and figurative works that challenge the romantic ideologies associated with historical watercolor. Continue reading »

Mar 182012

Original article published in: Adobe Airstream

Feb 2012

After school in Santa Fe, I would go to the candy store on Canyon Road (now Nüart Gallery), and load bags full of Blow Pops and Jolly Ranchers.  This was not for my consumption. The goodies were intended for sales the next day.

I’d buy Blow Pops for 10 cents and sell them on the Capshaw Middle School open market for 25. Why nobody else was doing this, was a total mystery.  You’d think all the students would just buy their own blow pops… but they didn’t. Even at a premium, my product was in high demand.  I didn’t dip into my stash –  I was set on an other goal- video games cartridges for the Atari 2600.

My English teacher pulled me aside one day and told me I had to go to the principal’s office.  The principal, who I’d only seen speaking in public and heard rumors about, told me I was facing suspension, but he’d let me off this time. This was a lot for me to take in.  I was an academic achiever.  Suspension was for kids who got in fights, not pre-pubescent goodie two-shoes, like myself!

My parents were asked to pick me up from school early, to make the whole event more serious.  I don’t remember who picked me up that day, but whichever parent it was, was laughing when they arrived. They defended my enterprise, stating that it was entrepreneurial.  That was the day I learned the word entrepreneur, and that was the first time I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up: ambiguous, independent, free, and doing something nobody else had figured out.

It was also the beginning of a questioning into the systems of closed and open markets.  First, why was it considered wrong for me to sell candy? How much money were the vending machine people making?  Was the principal in on it too?  I would never find the answers to these questions, but years later I found myself wearing similar shoes in a different market.

I went on to high school, college, dropped out for a while, swam in the Ganges, drank from the Ganges, got parasites from the Ganges, went back to college, got a degree, then got another degree. All the while, I started to look around and I slowly became an artist. Continue reading »