Breckenridge Texan

Shalon Wilson embarks on new adventure at Fine Arts Center

Shalon Wilson embarks on new adventure at Fine Arts Center
June 19
08:48 2018

As the new director of the Breckenridge Fine Arts Center, Shalon Wilson plans to continue the work of her predecessor, but she has some of her own ideas to implement, as well.

Wilson took over the job on June 1 from Victoria MacFarlane, who left the position after more than seven years to dedicate more time to her own art projects.

“Filling Victoria’s shoes is not going to be easy,” Wilson said. “Part of my goal is to continue what she’s been doing…bringing awesome art to Breckenridge so people can see and enjoy it.”

Wilson, too, is an artist and is represented by the Beaudry Gallery in Dallas. But, she didn’t take a straightforward path to becoming the artist that she is today.

A 1994 graduate of Breckenridge High School, Wilson went to Abilene Christian University on a volleyball scholarship and graduated in 1999 with a degree in biology. “By then, I realized I wasn’t going to pursue a career in microbiology, so I started to work on my master’s degree in Special Education,” she said.

After teaching Life Skills classes for Breckenridge Independent School District for several years, she decided to be a stay-at-home mom when her second daughter was born. “I did that for eight years; then, I knew I wanted to go back to work,” Wilson said.

She obtained an insurance license and ran an independent agency – the old Cox Insurance Agency – for three years. “Then, I decided to retire from insurance and just paint,” she said.

Wilson had started painting during those stay-at-home years. She said her first experience with creating art came when her sister-in-law Lindsi Muniz asked her if she could recreate some paintings she had seen in Santa Fe that she wanted to decorate her baby’s nursery with.

“I wasn’t sure how it all worked, but I didn’t want to just copy the artist’s work without talking to her first,” Wilson said. “So, I contacted Barbara Meikle, the artist, in Santa Fe, and she said, ‘You get after it; that’s how you learn.’ She was all but a big sister to me. I never really even asked her about her technique, because I didn’t know enough to ask. Then a saw a video of her using a palette knife, and I started doing that, too.”

Wilson describes her artistic style as “very much impressionist. If I’m going to do the work, I want to have fun with it.”

She often works with acrylic and oil and says “sometimes I scratch out a charcoal.”

When Wilson walked into her new job at the beginning of this month, one of her first tasks was handling the entries for the juried show the BFAC hosts each year. To her delight, in the submissions Wilson was forwarding to this year’s juror Beverly Boren were two paintings by Barbara Meikle, the artist whose work had inspired her own art career.

Just as Meikle encouraged Wilson in her artistic pursuits, Wilson plans to use the BFAC to assist other beginning artists. “We have a lot of talent in our high school,” she said. “I want to give them lots of room to grow their talent.”

The BFAC will continue offering art classes and workshops for kids and adults, and Wilson hopes to start offering some classes at night and on Saturdays to accommodate a variety of schedules.

In the few days Wilson has been at the BFAC, one of the things that has become obvious to her is the respect the center earns. “As people come in from out of town, they just ooh and ahhh. They can’t believe we have something like this here,” she said. “It’s a big deal. Lester and Virginia Clark did so much for this community when they created this.”

In addition to her artwork and new job at the BFAC, Wilson spends time with her family, including her husband, David Wilson; two daughters, Katherine, a seventh grader, and BHS sophomore Elizabeth; and her parents, Jerry and Ruth Taylor.

“I always wanted this job, but it never worked out – timewise and family-wise – for me. This time it did,” Wilson said.

 

Story by Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Shalon Wilson, the new director of the Breckenridge Fine Arts Center, has some of her artwork on display in her office. She often works with acrylics and oils and sometimes charcoal. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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