I am very thrilled and honored to share that I will be on Gallery America on OETA Tonight April 6th at 7pm only on @OETATV
Once it airs you can see the feature here as well.
Holly Wilson Looking For The Magic – November 2016 – Studio and Springfield Art Museum
What is that need to make art.
I am so pleased to be a part of this beautiful biennial Four by Four 2016: Midwest Invitational Exhibition. The Museum spotlighted one artist from four different states and I was honored to have been chosen for the state of Oklahoma. The exhibition is in its final weeks so I do hope if you have not had an opportunity to see the show that you find time. I have included the work that is apart of the exibition below.
WE NEED A HERO
Bronze and Patina
10′ x 12′ x 8.5″, 2015
This boy stands tall ready to defend his world. The airplanes representing his messages are going out into the world. These messages both large and small, some will survive and some will not go very far. The bombs represent messages that are incoming from both people and society on a daily basis. The blue bombs are just for practice and have no explosives while the white ones with a yellow ring indicates that they are highly explosive and may cause much destruction.
While getting my children ready for school last fall we were pulling together pencils, folders, colored pencils and crayons. They had to have 4 sets of 24 crayons each and we had leftovers from sets of the past years, some colors had never been used, and we were combining them together so we’d know how many new boxes would be required. The kids were talking about their friends at the new school and friends of their past school. In the conversation they were describing the children “the girl with the yellow hair, the boy with the brown skin”, in a very causal descriptive manner with no malice to the differences. This made me think more on how we see people and how one is judged. The smell of the crayons, the vivid colors, and the thoughts of my youth brought me to this crayon project. How we change in our viewpoints of people, and how we judge people based on race and color. We are all one below that surface, that surface of skin, no matter the color, the shape, or the origin.
It is the stories of family; history and identity that are what brought me to the piece “Bloodline”. It is a 22-foot long trail of history; where I came from as far back as I could trace my Native American bloodline to date. To be “on the Rolls” as an American Indian you have to prove a quantum of blood and trace that back through birth and death records until you match up to a name on the official “Dawes Rolls”. As I began walking backwards through the past to prove my blood, with the names and some faces I wanted to hear them speak and tell their story. I wanted them to be counted.
A storm took an old Locust tree down and that is the base for the figures to walk across. The tree is cut lengthwise so it exposes the rough center of the tree and the lines, the lines of the tree to show its history. I de-barked the exterior but kept the curve of the tree and its raw surface. The curve is mounted to the wall; the figures stand upon the top outer edge.
There are sections for each generation. The beginning section is with my own children. Though I only have 2 there are 5 figures. Each life is counted and the children that did not survive are remembered with a place on the wood in history their forms small and their heads bowed. From that I have my own section with my sisters and brother and then weave back and forth between my mother and fathers history. When hung the light casts a shadow of the figures on the wall, this shadow cast on the wall represents for me memory. Like a shadow these memories cannot be held, and in the end we are all only a shadow in history, shadows on this earth.
The Cigar Figures come from a Native American story of my childhood that my mother told of the “Stick People”. The “Stick People” would run through the night and call your name, she never described the figures and I was drawn to the idea of what they looked like for most of my life. The Cigar Figures are my reimagining of that story, now a story of family and my past. The figures are made of real cigars and found sticks. I create molds of the cigars and then cast them and the sticks in bronze. The faces are of the people from my past as far back as I can trace.
Where do they come from? I can’t say. But I bet they have come a long, long way. Not one of them Is like another.
How much is enough? If one is good today then 100 is better, we are overwhelmed by what we have yet we want for more. This girl stands atop of boxes of sugary cupcakes that are nothing more that empty, hollow treats.
The story behind the title here is when I first meet my husband we were both waiting tables in Houston and he made me a business card as a gift that said “Holly Wilson the artist formerly know as the waitress” his belief in my work has been the true and lasting gift.
I had a wonderful afternoon talking with John from nativeokc.com sharing this and many more stories about my life and my work.
I hope you will enjoy. Thank you for your time, I look forward to our next meeting.
Here is a link to the online interview: http://www.nativeokc.com/art-blog/2016/8/18/the-art-of-storytelling
Here is an image of the business card that he made me and that I have saved for 19 years.
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The exhibition “Conversations” is in its last few weeks at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. I have been so honored to be apart of this 2015 fellowship, to have meet such wonderful people and to be given the opportunity to share my stories. There are many to thank for this opportunity the selectors that choose my work, 2013 Fellow Julie Buffalohead (Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma), former contemporary art curator for the National Museum of the American Indian and 1999 Fellow Truman Lowe (Ho-Chunk) and independent art curator and consultant Mindy Taylor Ross, owner of Art Strategies, LLC and founding director of the Indianapolis Art’s Council’s Public Art Indianapolis. Jennifer Complo McNutt Curator of Contemporary Art at the Eiteljorg Museum and Ashley Holland Assistant Curator of Native American Art at the Eiteljorg Museum for their vision in creating such an amazing exhibition. James H. Nottage president and John Vanuasdall CEO at the Eiteljorg, both strong advocates for Native Arts. The Lilly Foundation for its generous support. To all of these people and so many more, thank you for your celebration and support of Native Arts and the Artists who share their stories and their histories.
To the writers on the beautiful catalog I send thank you’s for helping to share the many layers of meaning that our work has and that we are always trying to get on paper. I know for myself, the writing about my own work is hard on a good day. Thank you John Vanausdall, Jennifer Complo McNutt, Ashley Holland, Martin DeWitt, heather ahtone, Aldona Jonaitis, and Margaret Archuleta. All of your words and understanding touch our hearts.
The 2015 Fellowship, Conversations, marks the ninth round of the program and the continuing tradition of Native expression. This year’s fellows are Luzene Hill (Eastern Band of Cherokee), Brenda Mallory (Cherokee Nation), Da-ka-xeen Mehner (Tlingit/Nisga’a), Holly Wilson (Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma/Cherokee), and invited artist Mario Martinez (Pascua Yaqui)
Show ends February 28, 2016
“Conversations”, Contemporary Art Fellowship Group Exhibition
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art
500 West Washington St. Indianapolis, IN 46204
Bronze, Patina and Locust Wood
28” x 16.5” x 5.5”, 2015
by Holly Wilson
When I was young we lived on a mountain in Cherokee, NC, my father taught at the Indian School for several years. My memories have no words from that time just images, some of running the woods, others of going up and down the winding stairs to go to school. The “Gathering” is my interpretation of that part of my life; my coming home to the place and to the people I am a part of.
The wood is from a Locust tree. It is cut lengthwise; it exposes the rough center of the tree and the lines, the lines of the tree show its history. This wood is cut on the angle to be the mountain I lived upon, and the mountain we all climb during life.
When “Gathering” is hung the light cast’s shadows of the figures on the wall, these shadows represent for me memories. Memories cannot be held they have no words, and in the end we are all only a shadow in history, shadows on this earth.
I used my Cigar Figures to represent my family in “Gathering”. These figures come from a Native American story of my childhood that my mother told of the “Stick People”. The “Stick People” would run through the night and call your name, she never described the figures and I was drawn to the idea of what they looked like for most of my life. The Cigar Figures are my reimagining of that story, now a story of family and my past. The figures are made of real cigars and found sticks. I create molds of the cigars and then cast them and the sticks in bronze. The faces are of the people from my past and my present.
This piece is apart of the traveling exhibition “Return From Exile”
• October 15, 2015-January 15, 2016: Collier County Museums, Naples, Florida
• February 4-May 6, 2016: Dr. J.W. Wiggins Gallery, Sequoyah National Research Center, University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Arkansas
August 30-September 23, 2016: John Brown University Galleries, Siloam Springs, Arkansas
• June 2-August 20, 2017: Cherokee Heritage Center, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
The shadows play a big part in my work. Here are two new geode figures stay tune for more.