William J. Andersen’s artwork and point of view have been primarily influenced by his travels between the US and Asia over the last three decades. During this time, he has watched as regions like the Middle East and East Asia have emerged as economic and cultural forces and is fascinated by the tightening global web of economics, resource use, migration, and cultural hybridization. Living and traveling within such diverse regions and cultures for much of his life has directed his creative outlook to the notions of displacement, globalization, and hybridity. Using traditional and new media approaches, his artwork often incorporates chinoiserie imagery, an interest acquired early on amid his mother’s collection of blue and white china.
Andersen has received numerous honors and awards including a Fulbright and a Mary L. Nohl Fellowship. In 2022, he was chosen to be an Arts Envoy with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). His artwork has been exhibited in museums such as the Kyoto City Museum, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art Kuwait. His artwork has been collected by members of the royal families of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as well as is included in numerous public and private collections across Asia, Europe, and North America.
William J. Andersen is also an educator. He is currently the Chair of the Department of Art and Graphic Design and an Associate Professor at the American University of Kuwait (AUK). Prior to his appointment at AUK, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Beloit College and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago after receiving a BFA in Painting & Drawing and a Cross-School Major in Art History & Criticism from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to research Chinese art and culture in Taiwan and China before moving to Kuwait in 2008.