Since 1979 William Attaway has been working with ceramics, painting and sculpture on a scale few have attempted.
Over the past few decades he has continued to reinvent himself, pushing the boundaries of skill and style.
Over his career he has worked with city planners, politicians, corporations, youth and community groups, as well as being active in the restoration of arts in the Los Angles public schools.
In 1996 he helped create The Venice Clay Works, a non-profit job training program teaching ceramic and mosaic skills. This program has covered most of Venice schools with beautiful mosaics and murals. No matter the project, Attaway included at risk youth, stating,
“We must pass on our skills and knowledge to the children of our community, this is the only way to help our people overcome their circumstances and create hope where all hope is lost.”
In 1993 he received his first public installation from the city of Pomona to create three massive ceramic columns surrounded by intricate mosaic seating. The theme of these columns is Past, Present, Future, which reflects the rich multicultural heritage of Los Angeles.
In 1995 he was honored by the United Nations to create three installations for the opening ceremonies of the global conference, Environmental Sustainability, painting several fifteen foot paintings entitled Recycle, Restore, as well as creating a giant Copper Man which was made from reuse material found on the site of the conference. Officials from around the world gathered under his designs, to discuss the world’s environmental future.
In 1999 he completed the sculpture and mosaics for the renovation of the Historic Venice Ocean Front Walk. Dreams Come True is a twenty-five foot ceramic sculpture, inspired by Los Angeles’ journey to find its own identity, which sits majestically in front of the police station and children’s play area. Along with this epic piece, he covered the exterior walls of three public restroom facilities whose theme was the Running of the Grunion, an annual event in which millions of fish lay their eggs along the southern California coast line.
As a result of his many contributions to the culture and community of Los Angeles, Attaway was included in planning and creating the visual art for the first Urbsan Peace Awards honoring peacemakers in the prison system and on the streets like The Amer-I-Can Foundation, The Community Self Determination Institute, former State Senator Tom Hayden and Barrios Unidos to name a few, he created ceramic eggs for the honorees and transformed the ballroom into a work of art, actually carving the mahogany podium by hand. Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte hosted the evening.