WILSON, N.C. — There is another historic first for Barton’s artist-in-residence J. Chris Wilson in the Capital District. Wilson’s “From Murphy to Manteo—An Artist’s Scenic Journey” paintings are on view in the House Chamber of the North Carolina Legislative Building. The Legislative Building, designed by the celebrated architect Edward Durell Stone, has just celebrated its 50th anniversary, and this is the first time paintings have been exhibited or hung in the House of Representatives Chamber.
In 2003, Wilson had the first regional retrospective exhibition in North Carolina, maybe in the South. The exhibition was simultaneously displayed in seven venues in three cities and was composed of 140 of his paintings. Wilson was invited in 2011 to exhibit paintings in the lobby of the North Carolina Museum of History in support of the Museum’s “Story of North Carolina.” In 2012, he was named the first artist-in-residence at Barton College, where he had served on the faculty for 38 years and was awarded professor emeritus status. Also in 2012, Wilson was invited to exhibit landscape paintings in the State Library of North Carolina and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The artist has almost 30 paintings now on exhibition in four major state buildings in the Capital District through, at least, December 2014. Wilson also has an exhibition scheduled in September in the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science Nature Gallery, and he is not done yet. He still has some 60 paintings to complete his 100 paintings goal. This major series of large-scale, scenic North Carolina landscapes “From Murphy to Manteo—An Artist’s Scenic Journey” will be a comprehensive portrait of the North Carolina scenic landscape.
His work has been shown in galleries and museums throughout the Southeast, and his work has been represented and featured in galleries across the state and was the subject of a feature article in the March issue of “Our State” magazine. Wilson will be featured in the upcoming season on UNC-TV’s “Our State” and in a documentary on the East Coast of the United States produced for German and French television. His work is in numerous public, corporate, and private collections in the Southeast, England, Japan, and Saudi Arabia.
Wilson earned a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia. He has been involved in symposia, community presentations, and publications on art, decorative arts, and historic preservation, and he has engaged in extensive community service currently serving on the boards of Preservation North Carolina and The Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County.