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12 Jan Artist Spotlight: Bryan Wilson

Bryan Wilson grew up between New Jersey and Georgia. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Studio Art with a minor in Graphic Design from Morris Brown College. After graduating college, he became an in-house Graphic Designer for Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA. After a couple years and getting married, he and his wife relocated to Charlotte, NC where he began teaching art at a public school and obtained his teaching credentials at University of North Carolina-Charlotte. In 2012, he started
pursuing his MFA in Drawing/Painting at the Academy of Art University where he graduated in 2015. He is a 2017 recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant and a 2016 member of ArtPop Street Gallery family. He is now exhibiting throughout the Southeast alongside distinguished artists and professors and his piece “Small Wonders #1” is exhibited on a billboard on S. Tryon Street in Uptown Charlotte, NC.

When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?

I officially started exhibiting back in 2004 when I was settling in to Charlotte. I didn’t really embrace life as an artist until college; I switched my major second semester sophomore year (circa 1998-99).

Describe your aesthetic in 3 words…

Representational, romantic, symbolic

Describe your artistic process and preparation?

Brainstorming or jotting down ideas in addition to loads of “notes to self,” sometimes a brief compositional sketch or manipulation of references Photoshop, then grisaille underpainting (sometime accompanied by build up of texture), I move into the darks and build my way up to my more opaque lights.

Favorite piece you’ve created to date and why?

​“Why I do what I do” is a triple portrait of myself with my two daughters. It embodies how I feel about being their dad as well as how I prioritize my life.

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

My kids. Everything I do is to create a legacy for them and make them proud.

Biggest accomplishment to date?

Receiving a Elizabeth Greenshields grant.

Favorite location to create/what is your studio like?

My garage. Very compact but comfortable since its where I came into my own as an artist.

A random fact about you?

I used to love vintage kung fu movies with the English subtitles.

One thing you couldn’t live without?

My tablet.

Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?

Right now Titus Kaphar and Kerry James Marshall are at the top of my list.

Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years?

A solo show in a museum space.

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