Will Collier Biography

Will Collier




Will Collier, painter, printmaker, draftsman, photographer, and educator, was born in Queens, New York on February 15, 1929. He received his B.A. in 1952 from Antioch College, a private liberal arts college in Yellow Springs, Ohio. His studies continued at the University of California at Berkeley where he earned an M.A. degree in 1956.

Collier worked at Stanley William Hayter’s experimental workshop Atelier 17 in Paris in 1960. Returning to the United States, he enrolled at the San Francisco Art Institute between 1961 and 1962. Collier taught at the University of California Berkeley, Portland State University, University of California Davis, and Fiberworks School of Textile Arts in Berkeley. Collier joined the faculty of the Santa Rosa Junior College in northern California in 1973 where he taught design, drawing, figure drawing, and painting for thirty-seven years.

His work was included the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s 24th Annual Drawing, Print, and Sculpture Exhibition in 1961. Other venues where he showed his work include Western Washington State College, Bellingham in 1967; Bolles Gallery, San Francisco in 1967; Berkeley Art Center in 1974; Comsky Art Gallery, Los Angeles in 1975; St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California in 1984; and Gallery 1078, Chico, California in 1996. A retrospective of Collier’s paintings, drawings, and constructions was mounted at the Santa Rosa Junior College in 1999 and he is represented in the Doyle Collection of the Santa Rosa Junior College.

Will Collier wrote about his approach to his art: I draw in large series and over long periods. I draw what I’m drawn to. I try to balance the tension between a penchant for complexity and a respect for restraint, a pull to describe and a push to abstract, an attraction to likeness and an urge to move through it, somehow forward yet embedded in the source. One part of me is active: concocting, composing, controlling. Another part is simply watching where things go, wondering where they will lead, and puzzling over possible meanings.