"Bill was recommended to me by my long-time
art dealer as THE person to handle a difficult move of my art collection.
My collection includes 25 pieces of large scale -- up to 9' x 4'.
Bill and his team were first-rate all the way, including estimating
the packaging needs, extraordinary care in wrapping, crating and
handling; providing short-term storage of my art while I completed
the close of my home purchase; and both delivery and installation.
His attention to detail was impressive from start to finish, and
this eased my own anxiety about the process. Along with my art,
he also handled several one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture with
the same precise care and diligence. Bill's work was flawless on
all counts, and I recommend him heartily."
JB, Private Collector, Chicago, IL
I met Bill Watson through my uncle's reference (Robert Harbour)
and their past professional alliance. Bill first was hired to transform
the new gallery space (Carrie Secrist Gallery) we were moving into
at the time (summer of 2003). I quickly learned the qualities that
set Bill's work apart from ANY other contractor:
- Not only does he finish the project on time, but usually ahead
- Where other contractors would usually answer
a client's inquiry with "No... can't be done", Bill's answer has
ALWAYS been "Sure,
we'll make it work".
- His cost quotes are generally lower than
most and time quotes are ALWAYS less than any other bidder.
- He takes "pride" in
whatever project he's doing and if he encounters an obstacle in
his swift execution of the project, he ingeniously WILL find an
- His attitude is most congenial. Often when he's on a break
from the hired project, he will offer assistance to other projects
that people may be working on.
Bill is a superb "multi-tasker" within the
range of his field (construction, electrical, plumbing, etc.). He
completely overhauled my three story town home (Spring/ Summer 2004)
also in the West Loop. Working only off my inexperienced direction,
he put in three new bathrooms, all new floors, changed the "cookie-cutter" floor
plan, re-wired for numerous chandeliers. After this work was completed,
he also helped me hang my "floor to ceiling" art/object
collection. Once this project was complete, he began working (for
more complicated installations... almost full time) at the gallery
aiding in art installation.
From 2004 - 2010 some of the art "highlights" were:
• Co-Directing / Aiding in BOTH an indoor installation
in the gallery AND a city wide outdoor installation of several multi-ton,
twisted steel sculptures by prominent French artist Bernar Venet.
• Complete redesign of the gallery space for
CSG's most noted exhibition "The
Last Seduction- A Welcome Surrender To Beauty". The "anchor
piece" for this exhibition was a 15 ft, multi-tiered, Chandelier
by world renowned conceptual artist/architect Ai Wei Wei. This piece
was first shown in New York. Within the gallery that first installed
it, it took a crew of 15 three weeks to interpret the one page of
directions from the artist (written in Chinese), work out the European
electrical system (never actually figured out), mount the gigantic
metal structure and individually hang the thousands of individual
crystal strands. When the massive crates arrived at CSG (without
labels or any further instructions), Bill Watson and his crew of
three assistants had the installation complete in three days! In
de-installation after the show was over (and happily, the piece had
been sold), he took the piece apart and constructed a highly detailed
packing system PLUS a several page outline of instructions for future
installations (in English this time).
• Art Fairs: CSG has participated in numerous
art fairs both nation wide and in Europe. Bill has been brought
in for almost every fair to execute CSG's ambitious installations
of oversized sculptures, works that needed to appear to be "levitating",
etc. Many other exhibitors (many international) took note of "what
was going on in CSG's booth" and requested (in some cases,
begged) for his consultation/execution in their own booths.
Over the years Bill Watson has gone from a contractor
/ builder (with comprehensive skills AND "get it done attitude" above
and beyond any other in his field) to one of the most sought out
art installers in the city certainly... in the country probably.
The other "MUCH needed" qualities that he has lent to what
can be a cynical, cold, and arrogant community know as "The
Art World" during his work within in it... a "warm, smiling
face" and a "YES, we can get it done" attitude!
I would strongly recommend not only his art installation / construction
services, but also his attitude and work ethic to the other art professionals/staff
who hire him.
Carrie Secrist Gallery
"I have known Bill Watson for almost 10 years and have admired
his carpentry work for as long. As office manager of an auction house,
I am often faced with challenging issues relating to the facility
as well as to the installation of artworks. Whenever I call upon
Bill, he is always readily available to provide creative solutions
and has proven time and again to be an adept problem solver. He handles
all tasks with the utmost professionalism and his positive attitude,
coupled with his sense of humor and high level of skill, makes working
with Bill a thoroughly enjoyable experience every time. His talents
in construction and with installations are unparalleled. I am so
confident in Bill's ability to handle a wide variety of endeavors
that I am quick to recommend him to our most important clients, knowing
that he will consistently exceed the expectations of even the most
Laura, Senior Manager, Auction House, Chicago, IL
"I have known Bill Watson for almost two years during my time
as Assistant Director of a Chicago Gallery. Bill is incredibly hard
working, dependable and always is able to get any job completed in
an efficient manner. We have hired Bill to build crates (for art
shipping), install lighting, build walls, hang large pieces of artwork
(that are incredibly difficult to install), shipping consultations,
fix electrical wiring, wall repair, and aid with building issues,
and many more jobs over the years. The outcome of Bill's work is
always exceptional and we are always pleased with the work Bill does
at the gallery, so much so that we find ourselves constantly recommending
his services to other galleries in Chicago. Not only does Bill do
incomparable work, he is a joy to be around and is in constant good
cheer. Many times we call Bill last minute to help us fix something
and he is always willing to help us and often, he will come by that
day or he will give us first-class advice over the phone. Not only
is the work that Bill does excellent, he is also a close friend of
the gallery and someone that we can always depend on."
Carrie Secrist Gallery