Law school alumnus to unveil artwork commemorating the desegregation of UGA


On Feb. 15, William Elliott Stiles Jr. - an accomplished artist, Atlanta attorney and University of Georgia School of Law alumnus - will unveil a new work of art that was commissioned by the law school to commemorate the 60th anniversary of desegregation at UGA. The new creation will be displayed alongside other pieces of Stiles' "Concept Collection" that were donated to the school in 2018.

Stiles said in his new piece, titled "1961," he tried to depict the historic events of the desegregation of the University of Georgia and the Georgia public school system.

The artwork will be unveiled during Black History Month on Feb. 15 at 12 p.m. Those wishing to virtually participate need to register by Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. to lawalum@uga.edu or 706-542-7959.

Stiles, a 2006 cum laude graduate of the law school, began painting while in high school and said this creative activity was a much-needed stress reliever during his time as a law student. In fact, while studying in Athens, he created and donated a piece titled "The Common Law" to the school.

The "Concept Collection," which will include "1961," is a series of hand-painted originals portraying various legal themes and containing references to the School of Law. It is "firmly rooted in the practice of law and has excerpts of U.S. Supreme Court opinions in the background," according to Stiles. He began this body of work after experiencing a significant health scare in 2015. While recovering, law school classmates and former professors encouraged him to return to this creative outlet. Stiles said his law school family "helped to restore his confidence" and rediscover this stress reliever.

Stiles specializes in commercial vehicle litigation in Atlanta and is married to Amber Barrow Stiles, who is also a 2006 graduate of the School of Law.