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Wilson, Fo


Fo Wilson uses the language of furniture and domestic objects to investigate ideas around identity and culture. She creates furniture-based installations and other work using various media that crosses boundaries between art, design and craft. She received a Masters of Fine Art from the Rhode Island School of Design's Furniture Design program in 2005 with a concentration in Art History, Theory and Criticism. Prior to her graduate studies, she ran her own graphic design consultancy with offices in New York and the San Francisco Bay area. She is an Assistant Professor at Columbia College in Chicago, and has previously taught at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, as well as the California College of Art, and Parsons School of Design. Wilson was a Joseph Fellow at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado and an Artist-in-Residence in the School of Art + Design at Purchase College SUNY. She has been a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and her work is included in the collection of The Cooper Hewitt National Museum of Design in New York. She writes and lectures about art, design, and craft and is also an independent curator. She curated the national exhibition The New Materiality: Digital Dialogues at the Boundaries of Contemporary Craft, and co-curated Bodies of Evidence: Contemporary Perspectives at the RISD Museum of Art.

My work uses the language of furniture to investigate ideas around identity and culture and to re-present histories that counter dominate Western historical narratives. Trained as a studio furniture maker, I make objects that cross boundaries between art, design and craft and often include sound and video with other technologies. Hair, as a subject and object of female obsession and a frequent material explored and used in my work, offers all manner of individual and collective angst, beauty, expression, creativity, and cultural representation. In the experience of African American women, hair can be a location of both a painful history and of joyous liberation.
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