ARTIST & PROFESSOR
“We are all homeless.”
Willie Baronet was the owner and creative director of GroupBaronet (now MasonBaronet) from 1992 to 2006. His design and advertising work has been featured in Communication Arts, Graphis, AIGA, New York Art Directors, The One Show, Print Casebooks, Annual Report Trends, The Type Directors Club and Annual Report Design: A Historical Retrospective 1510-1990, organized by the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design.
In 2013, he was given the AIGA Fellow award, the highest honor an AIGA chapter can bestow upon one of its members.
He has spoken to various business and creative organizations over the years, including TEDxSMU, and has judged many creative competitions including the prestigious Communication Arts Annual.
Willie graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Arts and Technology from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2011. His art has been featured in a number of group exhibitions, including the 15th Annual “No Dead Artists” at the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans, LA, “INVASIONEN/INVASIONS” at the Galerie Carolyn Heinz in Hamburg, Germany and the “500XPO 2012” at 500X in Dallas. He has also had a number of solo exhibitions (Texas, Pennsylvania, New York) and is currently a member of the art collectives “In Cooperation With Muscle Nation” and “CircleWerk.”
Willie has been buying and collecting homeless signs since 1993 as part of a long-term art project titled: “WE ARE ALL HOMELESS.” In 2014, he began a 31-day, cross-country trip to buy signs in 24 cities, and began filming a documentary about the process (Signs of Humanity, Spring 2016). This project has been featured in dozens of international and local media, including Yahoo! News, NPR – All Things Considered, The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Al Jazeera America and Fast Company’s blog, posted by Katie Couric. An UpWorthy video about the project that was uploaded on August 31, 2015 has been viewed over 6.3 million times.
Willie is a 1982 graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He has taught advertising design at Brookhaven Community College, Texas A&M at Commerce and Texas Christian University, and has served as visiting faculty for the MA Program at Syracuse University.
In 2006, Willie sold his advertising company to long-time employee, Holly Mason, and the company changed its name to MasonBaronet, and relocated to the historic Landmark Center in Dallas’ West End.
Willie was recently named the Stan Richards Professor of Creative Advertising at Southern Methodist Univeristy’s Temerlin Advertising Institute, where he teaches classes related to creativity and portfolio development.