Born in Lakeland, Florida, LaVon Van Williams, Jr. is known, in some circles, as a member of the University of Kentucky basketball team that captured the NCAA championship in 1978. He graduated with a degree in Sociology and went on to play professional basketball in Italy and Spain. Though he did not pursue formalized art training, Williams is a fifth-generation wood carver and his grandmother was a quilt maker.  After his return to Lexington, KY in the mid 1980s, he decided to renew this creative tradition.

In his studio, he chisels bold figures, which capture the interaction of couples, churchgoing folk, and partygoers as well as the physicality of dancers and musicians. Williams is a perennial favorite at the Outsider Art Fair in New York City. Among his credits, Williams’ work was included in the national touring show When the Spirit Moves: African American Art Inspired by Dance. In 2009 the Kentucky Folk Art Center assembled a 30-year retrospective exhibit of his work titled, LaVon Williams: Rhythm in Relief. The show traveled extensively throughout Ohio and Kentucky and was on display Oct. 2010 for the reopening celebration of the historic Lyric Theatre in Lexington.

No More Booze and Fried Food by LaVon Van Williams, Jr., 2011 captures the pose of a musician who executes an energetic stomp as he plays the banjo. In a surprising twist, one side is a light-skinned performer while on the other side the same performer appears in blackface. Therefore, it is a crystallization of the tension between entertainment and exploitation in American culture.