This work was created from the mulberry tree that tree in my childhood back-yard. it was carved in the early 70's. the name was used as my pen name for plays and short stories I wrote in College.
Early 70's NFS
Wilson doing a festival in Atlanta, GA.
I was born into a family of woodworkers in Greenville, MS. My first steps as a child were toward a bowl of shellac in my father’s shop. The family, including my mother, brother, aunts, and uncles, refinished and repaired antique furniture. After learning the steps to refinishing furniture, woodcarving allowed for more creativity. Woodcarving was a way to comment on the world in which I lived. I started carving at age twelve. The work grew up with me, in a changing world, during the time of the Civil Rights Movement. I wanted to capture the spirit of that time in my work. Each work became a statement on what was happening around me.
While earning degrees in Social Science, Public Affairs, and Sociology, I continued to keep the creative spirit alive by developing a style of my own. The artwork would go on to parallel a career in higher education administration. The abstract expressions still represented the reality of a people struggling in a world for equality. The work touches on religion, blues, marriage, family, spirituality, justice, hate, freedom, and ancestry. The stories that trees tell. What have they seen? What have they heard? What did they witness? The wood that once lived; lives again in the work. In doing justice to God, Nature, and Self, I again want to give meaning to that which has lived. The wood speaks to me, and a dance occurs between us. Together we create a work that makes a statement.
My work runs the gamut of themes and titles. Such titles as Mississippi Blues, I Know the Lord He Heard My Cry, Justice, Salute to Civil Rights, Tree of Eternal Life, Holy Father, Gumbo People, I Too Am America, and Scream, Make Me Wanna Holler, and a comment on the world around me. Underlying the abstract is a conceptual message that is often religious and justice conscious. Someone has to comment on the world. I choose to comment through the wood. I thank God for the gift.
Preparing a work at a festival in Nashville, TN. The work was later titled "Mary and Jake."
Red Oak Private Collection
About the Artist
Wilson accepting an award for his work at the 57th Street Art Fair, Chicago, IL.
An early work carved from the walnut tree that was in the backyard.
In the 60's some of us did not really like dark skinned Negroes. in this work, I wanted to create a work dedicated to dark skin sister whom I thought was beautiful. The work is carved from cedar, and stained to darken the wood.