Vicki Wilson

January 2 – 27, 2024

Reception: Thursday, January 18, 5:30 – 7 PM 2024 (CAW)

Artist Talk: Thursday, January 18, 6 PM

Image: Above (detail), 2023, glazed stoneware and glass


After 25 years of comfortable establishment in Portland, Oregon, Vicki Wilson started to travel for art residencies and family matters. Seven years of frequent moving was a trying experience, which has come to an end as she puts down roots in her new home of Philomath, OR.

In her sculptural work, Vicki finds that creating a meditative expression of a beloved place helps her feel grounded. “When I feel at odds with where I am, physically, it helps to orient myself to the places I feel comfortable with and the memories of their landscapes. These are always natural places for me and I imagine myself a part of that ecosystem.” Art History is also an inspiration in Vicki’s work and she favors the Romantic Period. Drawing inspiration from a dramatic natural world is the foundation of
Romanticism, which was originally a response to the Industrial Revolution.

The format for the Compass series is the “Tondo” style of sculpture practiced by Andrea Dela Robia (and family). Wilson created a basic mold in the round, high- relief style of Dela Robia, appreciating the “idea of a central figure crowned by a narrative, as if the crown is an expression of the spirit or a vision”. This idea of a “spirit/vision crown” has been growing in Vicki’s free-standing sculpture over about a ten-year period and has become her signature imagery. Other work featured in Compass are earlier, free-standing sculptural work that is related to the concept of place, as well as smaller works that served as sketches or tests for texture, shape and color for the Tondos.


Vicki Lynn Wilson was raised in Virginia but has called Oregon home for nearly 30 years. She holds a BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art and an MFA from Portland State University, both in Sculpture.

Wilson was influenced at age 16 by an apprenticeship to sculptor, Retha Walden Gambaro, which lasted three years. Gambaro’s work and life continue to inform Vicki’s narrative themes of nature and human experience. Vicki worked in theatrical prop building before beginning a 15-year career as a college art instructor. Her work has been shown locally and nationally. From 2017 to 2020, Vicki moved to the East Coast to attended several ceramics residencies in Virginia, DC and MD. She now lives and works near Corvallis, Oregon.

Wilson has collaborated on public art commissions with her husband, John Larsen, as well as leading neighborhood projects, murals and the creation of a long running community garden. She has also completed several large solo public commissions.

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