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Bill Yates | American, 1946 -

Bill Yates graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Art and Photography in 1973 following active duty in the US Navy. Yates received his Master of Fine Arts in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1975 where he studied with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. He also studied with Garry Winogrand as well as other master photographers. Yates enjoyed a forty year friendship/mentorship with the late painter, sculptor, photographer, and fellow southerner, William Christenberry. 

Yates had a solo exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC in 1975. Photographs from that exhibition were selected by Chief Curator/Associate Director, Jane Livingston and the United States Information Agency (USIA) to be a part of the first cultural exchange to China following President Richard Nixon's 1972 historic visit. He received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to curate and assemble a traveling exhibition of Florida's emerging photographers, was a curatorial consultant for photography to the Corcoran, and served as the director of the University Gallery at New Mexico State University. 

Awards and recent exhibitions include: PhotoLucida 2013 Critical Mass Top 50 winner;  THE FENCE 2015, Atlanta & Houston; Bill Yates: Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink 1972 - 1973, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, 2015; FAST FORWARD // REWIND, Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia (MOCA GA), Atlanta, 2017; Houston Center for Photography, 2017; W|ALL: Defend, Divide, and the Divine, Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, 2019; Youthful Adventures, Telfair Museum, Savannah, 2020. 

Yates work is in the collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg; Wellesley College Davis Museum; Do Good Fund, and among numerous private, and institutional collections. 

His 2016 book, Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink (Fall Line Press, Atlanta), won the 2017 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Book Award. A European edition of an updated Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink is currently being edited for a 2024-25 launch.  The Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink photographs are the subject of a Stanford University Lecture Course, “American Dream - American Nightmare,” presented by the renowned art historian and author, Alexander Nemerov, Chair of Stanford’s Art and Art History Dept. (2021 - 2023)