William “Bill” Harris III was a local hero in DC with an international influence. native Washingtonian, he earned both his BFA and an MFA in Printmaking and Drawing from Howard University. He was a successful and versatile artist, working in numerous media, from drawing to printmaking to woodwork. More than that, though, he was an institution in the DC arts community. He spent 42 years teaching in the DC Public School system at every grade level, from pre-k to high school. He was a founding faculty member and former chair of the art department of the District’s vaunted Duke Ellington School of the Arts. His students have included many successful artists, including Chinedu Felix Osuchukwu, Shaunté Gates, Maya Cunningham, Khalil Gil, and Stanley Squirewell. He also taught in Howard University’s College of Fine Arts and served as a crafts panelist for the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and a fine arts panelist for the Maryland State Arts Council He served as a member of the Board of Directors of Pyramid Atlantic. He was a member of the Washington Printmakers Gallery from 1991 through 2006.
Harris exhibited his work extensively in the DC Metro area and around the country, from New York to Philadelphia, from Colorado to New Orleans. His work is held in numerous public and private collections, including the Capitol One Corporate Collection, the DC City Hall Art Collection, Sallie Mae, the McNeese State University Collection in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and the collection of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.