Vicki Lynn Wilson was born in District Heights, MD and moved to Oregon in 1995 after an Art Foundation year at VCU. She holds a BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art and an MFA from Portland State University, both in Sculpture. Wilson has been collaborating on public and private commissions with her husband, John Larsen , for over a decade. The team has completed several permanent installations including the Oregon Zoo and Main Street Oregon City. The pair was awarded multiple Presidential Volunteer Service awards for their unique neighborhood community garden. Wilson has taught Sculpture, Ceramics, Drawing and Design for Oregon colleges since 2005. She was a 2017 artist in residence at Cub Creek Foundation in Appomattox, Va and a 2018-19 artist in residence at District Clay Center in DC. In Fall 2019, Wilson taught Ceramics and Design at Marymount University and was a visiting artist for a project based residency at Baltimore Clayworks.
At age 16, I began a three year apprenticeship to a noted Native American bronze and stone sculptor, Retha Walden-Gambaro. This early experience continues to inspire my themes of nature, spirituality and the connections between all living things. Plants, animals, earth and stars become symbols for human experiences of all kinds. Drawing and painting are a part of my practice, but they are often studies for sculptures. Vivid dreams were my first inspirations. While intense periods of dream memory come and go, I have attached meaning to certain symbols and colors like a language. As this language has matured, I have begun to navigate symbols with or without the inspirational dream impetus. It is the influence of the dream that led me to work in installation. When the piece calls for it, or when a specific place inspires me, I need to build the work around the viewer hoping that the space can transport them.
When I became an educator, I found a deeper relationship with materials. My success as a teacher has been tied to my knowledge of each material I cover. While trying to expand my knowledge, I began to see materials as metaphors. When wood burns, it releases its spirit. Clay knows its destiny from early on and will reveal it over time. The firing is a ritual of transformation.
The work I am currently engaged in focuses on the figure in clay but I always reserve the flexibility to introduce different materials as needed. The figure has always been a part of my installation and sculpture practice, but I see the body as a pedestal and an entry point; a support for a material investigation.