Originally published in Metro Times.
Poetry derived from objects rather than words.
Sometimes all it takes is one person to foster the love of art in someone. For Jean Wilson, that person was her eighth grade art teacher. Wilson says she tried her hand at all the forms of drawing and painting she knew; realism, surrealism, abstract and impressionist before eventually losing interest in art.
“I couldn’t find myself in it,” she says, then divulged how drinking replaced drawing and painting as a pastime. But it was art that Wilson turned to when she finally quit. She found other artists in Detroit at the Michigan Gallery and with the Cass Corridor artists.
“I owe my training to hanging out with the main players of that crowd,” she says. “They are my education along with life in Detroit.”
Wilson says she draws inspiration for her work from Detroit and is influenced by its history and current stories. She creates artwork from old pieces of buildings and artifacts that are found around the city.
“They provide the language in which I use to tell stories or portray feelings and ideas,” she says. “I listen to the objects because they all have something to say.”
See Wilson’s artwork at the 2013 Actual Size Biennial though Oct. 18 at Detroit Contemporary, 5141 Rosa Parks Blvd., Detroit.