Local artist Wil Clay reportedly passed away Jan. 15Written by Staff Reports | | email@example.com
Toledo area resident Wil Clay is reported to have died on Jan. 15 following complications after surgery in Toledo, Ohio. Clay was an illustrator, storyteller, graphic designer, painter and sculptor. He received the Coretta Scott King Honor Award for Illustration in 1993 for his artwork in the book, “Little Eight John” as well as receiving numerous other awards. He was 72 years old.
Clay was born in Toledo, Ohio. He returned to Toledo in 1987 after working in commercial design projects in Providence, Rhode Island and Houston, Texas. Clay opened a studio at the Common Space Center for Creativity in 1988, where he taught drawing. In 1989 Clay’s six-foot bronze and stainless steel sculpture that honored the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. titled, “Radiance” was dedicated in Downtown Toledo. The sculpture was placed on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge.
The American Academy of Art in Chicago and the Vesper George School of Art in Boston and University of Toledo in Ohio are listed in his biography as places of study. Clay’s most recent illustration project was “A Biography of George Washington Carver” that was written by Steven Krensky.
Funeral arrangement information has not yet been released, a memorial service has been scheduled for Jan. 22 at the Toledo Museum of Art where some of Clay’s paintings are displayed.