Arstanda Billy White

Billy White is a natural storyteller.

He weaves tales throughout his figurative drawings and paintings, explaining that the narrative forms in his head while he is drawing. Often dredging up long forgotten gems of African American popular culture, White’s subjects range from film, television and artworld celebrities and characters to hip hop artists and comedians; as well as imagined characters. White’s work levels reality and fiction into an equal playing fieldwork for all, a frustrated Picasso can be seen with an angry Incredible Hulk and a bemused Red Foxx (or quite possibly Fred Sanford).

At some point in his childhood, Billy was hit by an automobile, recovering from a coma with a traumatic brain injury and limited mobility. White has mentioned — numerous times — an affinity to van Gogh. He feels the Dutch artist’s unsuccessful romantic overtures and missing ear are similar to his own travails.

Billy White has been creating at NIAD Art Center since 1994. He is represented exclusively by SHRINE in New York.

exhibition history

Into the Brightness: Artists from Creativity Explored, Creative Growth & NIAD // Oakland Museum of California // May 2023

Blow Like Magic In Their Face And Vanish organized by James Sterling Pitt // October 2022

The Armory Show 2022, organized by Shrine Gallery // Javits Center, NYC // September 2022

WIN WIN 10 Live Auction Sneak Preview // NIAD Online Exhibition // March 2022

This is a Show by Billy // SHRINE New York July 2020

Standing Tall: Billy White // Mule Gallery San Francisco January 2020

Ether Here Nor There: Anthony Grant x NIAD // NIAD Art Center 2019

Turn To Stone // organized by Em Kettner NIAD Art Center 2019

CE x CG X NIAD // Minnesota Street Projects San Francisco 2019 

Disability Changemakers // (traveling exhibition) San Mateo, San Francisco and San Jose County public libraries beginning March 2019

Talking Heads: Figuration From Northern California Ceramicists // Curated organized by Susan Alexander and NIAD Art Center Museum of Northern California Art (monca) Chico 2018

Exquisite Corpse: CG x CE x NIAD // NIAD Art Center November 2018

Guerneville // organized By Gerasimos Floratos and Ross Simonini NIAD Art Center October 2018

Coming To America // SHRINE New York 2018

Give A Little Take A Little: Real Time & Space at NIAD // organized By Lexa Walsh NIAD Art Center 2018

Microcosmic // organized by Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh NIAD Art Center 2018

Cyrano // organized By Em Kettner NIAD Art Center 2018

Can Did // organized By Julio Rodriguez NIAD Art Center 2018

Affinity // organized by Tim Buckwalter Museum of Northern California Art Chico 2017

Flying Like A Rock // Public Annex Portland Oregon 2017

Adult Swim /// organized by Gerasimos Floratos Pilar Corrias Gallery London 2017

Igneous Intrusions // organized by Jon Shibata NIAD Art Center 2017

Souls And Scenarios // organized by Gina Borg NIAD Art Center 2016

Billy White’s Ceramics // South Willard Los Angeles 2016

Billy White // NIAD Art Center 2016

Variations On a Theme // organized by Robert Wuilfe NIAD Art Center 2016

Celebrating A Vision: Art & Disability // San Francisco International Airport Terminal Two 2016

Hands and Pants 6 // Faultline Artspace Oakland 2016

Adventure! // organized by Scott MacLeod NIAD Art Center 2015

Absence of Deliberate Silence // organized by Lacey Haslam NIAD Art Center 2015

Telling It Slant // organized by Courtney Eldridge Richmond Art Center 2015

Making Friends // organized by John Casey NIAD Art Center 2015

City In Motion // NIAD Art Center 2014

Avatar // organized by Justine Frischmann NIAD Art Center 2014

Check Your Head: Some Figurative Work // NIAD Art Center 2013

Where Have All The People Gone? // organized by Amy Miller Village Theatre Art Gallery Danville 2013

Serenade: Lists, Poems And Missives // NIAD Art Center 2013

Undercover Geniuses // organized by Jan Moore Petaluma Art Center 2013

Mud, Honey // NIAD Art Center 2013

Spring Training // NIAD Art Center 2013

Superduperultracool Shoppe // organized by Lisa Solomon NIAD ART Center 2013

special projects

Hands & Pants, collaboration with neurotypical artist John Casey 2015


New York Times: As Galleries Reopen, Two Critics Find Rewards Eclipse the Angst (July 16, 2020)

The Editorial Magazine: Billy White at Shrine NYC (July 13, 2020)

James Kalm YouTube: THIS IS A SHOW BY BILLY” Billy White at SHRINE (June 2020)

Disparate Minds: Billy White: Coming To America (September 2018)

Hyperallergic: The Power of Painterly Innocence (August 2018)

Nat. Brut: I, Too, Like Purple (May 2017)

San Francisco Chronicle: “City In Motion”: NIAD Artists Create Urban Environment (2014, May)

San Francisco Chronicle: ‘Avatar’: Exhibition At NIAD Art Center (2014, January)

San Ramon Valley Times: Disabled Artists Work On Display (2013, September)

San Francisco Chronicle: NIAD Art Center’s Gifts Of Artistic Ability (2012, December)