William Acheff is of Alaskan Athabascan heritage. He has a particular fondness for historical and ethnic artifacts, which often appear in his work. His paintings convey a sense of nostalgia, and a peaceful, meditative quality.
Though Acheff had always enjoyed painting, he never thought that he would become an artist. He began cutting hair after attending barber college in San Francisco. In 1968, he met the artist Robert Lupetti in the barbershop, and he began taking painting lessons. Encouraged, after several years of training, Acheff began to pursue art as a career.
In 1973, Acheff moved to Taos, out of curiosity regarding the Southwestern art movement. He had his first major show in 1978, and his success was almost immediate. Acheff achieved great distinction among contemporary painters for his masterful technique and original style. His compositions are remarkably contemporary, while serving as a unique homage to the past. Acheff was awarded the Prix de West at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City.