To enrich the cultural landscape of Lemont by fostering the production and appreciation of the arts.
William Marr, a longtime resident of Downers Grove and a retired scientist from Argonne National Laboratory, came to this country from Taiwan in 1961 and received his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Marquette University in 1963 and his doctorate in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1969. As a leading contemporary Chinese poet, he has published twenty one volumes of poetry (Autumn Window and Between Heaven and Earth are in English, the rest in Chinese), two books of essays and several books of translations of Western modern poetry. His poems are included in over one hundred anthologies, ranging from literary textbooks to special collections and have been translated into more than ten languages. He has also edited several anthologies of Chinese and Taiwanese modern poetry.
Marr started painting and sculpting in 1988 and held his first solo exhibit at an art gallery in Westmont in 1994. His artworks have been displayed at various local public libraries in recent years: the Lisle Library in 1997 and 2000; the Westmont Library in 2005; the Downers Grove Library in 2005; and the Lemont Library in 2011. He also participated in group shows of paintings at Truman College in 2000, at Cook County Building in 2008, and at Murphy Hill Gallery in Chicago in 2011. He was invited to participate in a celebration art festival in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics.
A member of the Poets Club of Chicago, Marr is a founding board member of the Chinese Artists’ Association of North America. He served as president of the Illinois State Poetry Society from 1993 to 1995.