Gary has won many awards over the years including “Best of Shows”, “First Places”, “People’s Choice Awards”, and countless others. His work has been installed in hospitals, churches, nursing homes, funeral homes and universities, including Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
With over 45 years of teaching experience, Mr. Wilson has developed a number of presentations related to clay, art history and creativity with spiritual insights into each. He has done workshops for many colleges, universities, artist groups and churches. His familiarity with art history and in particular the symbolism of Christian art give him an unusual perspective into the purposes of art. His presentation documenting his search for a style of his own is particularly appreciated by aspiring artists who are searching also for their style. Having developed a college course in creativity which he has taught for over 40 years, he is able to communicate to others how to take the mystery out of the creative process.
Gary sums up his artistic purpose this way:
“In recent years I feel that the role of my art is changing. I believe that the purpose of my art is to be ministerial, to bring healing and hope into a world that desperately needs both. My prayer is that God will touch all those who ‘pass by’ and take the time to engage in the art and that a blessing will come with the encounter.
In the past I worked in three separate venues--vase related forms, archaeological fragments that are free-standing, and bas-relief sculptures for the wall. Most of the vases are made using high-fired stoneware, whereas the wall sculptures are primarily pit-fired and painted with acrylics using a dry-brush technique. What unified the work were the themes, which all dealt with Biblical ideas. These are often portrayed using a narrative storytelling style. Many of the works are somewhat autobiographical in nature, reflecting my personal musings and encounters in my pursuit of God. Hopefully, these will transcend private experience and will touch something deep in the spirit of those that encounter my work. I believe that ‘things of the Spirit are discerned by the Spirit,’ and it is to the ‘spiritual’ man that I address my efforts.” Since retiring from teaching in the spring of 2016, I have moved from my long time home in Monroe, Michigan to a new home in Simpsonville, South Carolina, just outside of Greenville. Because my access to ceramics is now limited, I have shifted my emphasis to the two dimensional arts of drawing and painting. I am excited about the challenges that exploring new mediums offers me. I have been wanting to branch out to other art forms for quite a while, but the demands placed upon me to fulfill commissions in clay did not allow for this. But now I can. The challenge will be to find a way to create new work in a new medium that coincides with my existing style. With God’s grace, hopefully this will happen.”
"The aim of great art and beauty is to awaken the soul to the contemplation of God and His goodness.”
Now living in Simpsonville, South Carolina, Gary Wilson has been working as a professional artist since 1969. After receiving his B.F.A. from Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and an M.F.A. from Michigan State University, Mr. Wilson taught as an Associate Professor of Art at Monroe Community College from 1971 until 2016, where his course load included Ceramics, Drawing, Art History, Art Appreciation and Creativity. With the help of his wife, Linda, Gary participated in art festivals during the summer months and was also represented by galleries as well as hosting a large Christmas show in his home every year. Besides those responsibilities, Mr. Wilson was active as an elder in his church in Monroe, Michigan and he and his wife worked regularly with young adult ministries.