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Ian Wilkinson

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Mediums: Mosaics, Painting

Artist's Bio

Biography

 Ian has been an artist since early on. His mother notes finding relief in Ian's ability to entertain himself for hours with drawing. After graduating high school ,and being the elected candidate for the governors school in the arts, he attended Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond Va. He soon started a business as a muralist. After finding great success in the endeavor Ian became, at 20 years old, the lead mural artist for the Holocaust Museum of Virginia. Ian painted murals depicting the Ipsen Family's escape from the Holocaust, and worked directly with other survivors to make detailed drawings that would be used to recreate key points in the museum. Ian went on to earn his BA in painting from Adams State University in Alamosa CO. After a successful decade of mural making in Colorado, and New Mexico. Ian now lives in Asheville NC with his family. Ian's focus and expertise is in creating timeless community lead murals in many capacities. He is the City of Asheville's only release valve for its graffiti issues, helping building owners to negotiate the tricky trail to resolution over their walls by connecting them directly to the graffiti community while simultaneously helping to elevate the culture of graffiti throughout the city.  He is a teaching artist In the city schools, hosting large scale mural workshops that allow hundreds of children to access the highest quality mural materials to become the practitioners of their own public art. He has pioneered many unique processes for involving community in the implementation of public art. Wilkinson's mural workshops cross many sectors of the community: Health, rehabilitation, and senior facilities, under served housing developments, hospital group homes, city schools, YWCA summer groups, kids at risk for gang violence, minors caught doing graffiti. Ian is also the sole proprietor of one of the most successful commercial mural businesses in Asheville. Ian is responsible for the fundraising, creation, installation and maintenance of dozens of large scale public murals throughout Asheville. Ian's commercial murals have created paying work for other dedicated local muralists bringing in $65,000 in 2015 for them. In 2013, Ian was awarded a tier two North Carolina State Arts Council Grant to create a 200 feet long by 32 feet tall mural and mosaic for Hall Fletcher Elementary. This mural for the city's most under served school( having the highest level of children in poverty) began with a month long fall residency where he and his collaborator Alex Irvine, shared their respective public art forms while creating many parts for the mural and mosaic with the all the children of the forth grade class. The mural was completed and dedicated of the school year. Ian was also the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in 2013 to make a mural for the San Luis Valley Museum in Southern Colorado, spending three months in development and research with the Ute Tribe and local community. In May of 2016, Ian will produce and paint in the largest community mural event the city has ever seen. The team of fifty artists, organized by Wilkinson will address fifteen thousand square feet of the River Arts District  in three days.