Kris Wilson | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Kris Wilson

Photo courtesy Kris Wilson

Photo courtesy Kris Wilson Photo by Kris Wilson

Kris Wilson, a Canton resident and an art instructor at Holmes Community College's Ridgeland and Goodman campuses, sees his art as a way to get people to slow down and rethink how they view imagery.

"Ordinarily we consume imagery so fast, we grade it and rate it, we decide to keep it or throw it away, and it's so easy to do," Wilson says. "The paintings I make are meant to be intentionally problematic and tough to assess. The form and colors communicate in a way that plays with your expectation of what you want to see. It encourages you to look long and hard, and slowly digest the image rather than immediately consume it."

Wilson, 29, graduated from Madison Central High School and enrolled at Mississippi State University, where he received a bachelor's degree in painting in 2011. He later received a master's degree in fine arts from New Mexico State University in 2015.

After graduating from NMSU, Wilson returned to Canton and applied for a part-time position as an art teacher at Holmes Community College in 2015. He started out as an adjunct professor for an art appreciation course and later began teaching two art classes per semester, including drawing and art history. Holmes hired him as a full-time fine arts professor in summer 2018.

"I decided to teach at Holmes because I knew I'd love to get involved in working with students on art," Wilson says. "My studio classes are my favorite both because drawing and design is a great deal of fun and because it's so exciting to watch students get it and succeed, and then become excited about succeeding. It's a great 'ah-ha' moment when it clicks, and they realize what they can do. I see them in a place where I used to be, thinking that I couldn't do it, but then realizing that it isn't impossible."

Wilson says he has always enjoyed art since he first took classes on it in high school, where art teacher Marshall Polson first encouraged him to pursue the craft. While Wilson initially considered pursuing psychology or graphic design at MSU instead, he changed his mind after taking a drawing class with then-assistant professor James Davis, who convinced him to change his major to drawing in fall 2007 after showing him some of his own art and inviting Wilson to assist him with some pieces he created.

"Today, I love living in the Jackson metro and being part of the art scene here because of how accessible it is," Wilson says. "Everyone I meet here is amazing as an artist, and I never feel like I'm meeting a stranger."

Wilson and his wife, Margaret Wilson, have been married since 2013. They have a 3-year-old daughter named Julia and a 1-year-old son named John.

View artwork by Kris Wilson at kris-wilson.com.

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