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Pattern Magazine - William Denton Ray Profile

If you ever have the chance to meet Indianapolis-based artist and designer William Denton Ray, expect to only call him by his proper first name one time. He’s the type of guy who insists on the more personable “Billy” after that.

One might go through a similar process when you encounter his art for the first time. His abstract work catches the eye at first, carrying a feeling of high-art that demands to be digested and understood. But the longer someone looks, the more he or she might see familiar aspects of graffiti, song lyrics, street art, family, and other personable artistic influences that he’s picked up along the over fifteen years he’s been in the industry. 

This year marks the ninth that Ray’s called the Harrison Center his studio home, and he’s coming off a new show that has been a work “to make things more cohesive.” He’s had numerous art shows and local installations in the past, but he’s put his latest pieces through more of a critical eye, making sure that they all work together. The result is a collection of art that incorporates his style of erratic and active visual expression.

When he’s not between his northside home studio and the Harrison Center, Ray fills his time beautifying the Sun King brand and shuttling his kids between soccer games. Even if it’s a full schedule, he enjoys the flexibility he’s earned to go on the occasional vacation to Michigan with his family. If you look closely enough, you might just see some of the inspiration for his art drawn from those family moments. 

Insta: @whimsicalfunk


Eric ReesPattern