the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Fred Robert Wilson


2007 recipient, Major Contributor to the Arts

Fred Robert Wilson moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1975 bringing with him the Muddy Wheel Pottery School, Studio and Gallery that he established in Van Nuys, California.

Wilson is a noted artist, creating sculpture, pottery, masks, photographs, paintings, stone carvings and woodcarvings for nearly 40 years. He is the founder of the New Mexico African-American Artists' Guild, which under his guidance, says nominator Pamelya Herndon, "helped create the face of African-American art in New Mexico."

Through his Touch/Feel program, Fred opens his studio to about 40 school tours each year, helping youth appreciate art and discover their own artistic talent. "These are not merely tours and demonstrations—each child is allowed to create two pieces of pottery, one hand-built and one thrown on the wheel," says Christine Snyder in her letter of support for Wilson's nomination. Artist Shirley Fears-Wynn says Wilson is an inspiration: "He not only works at his art daily in his studio, but he lives and breathes his art and the art of others 365 days a year."