Acrylic Beauty

Local art instructor Wilson
creates murals at Clifty Inn

Wilson used photos of waterfalls,
trees from actual park

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(July 2010) – After her job as a public school art teacher ended, artist Vickie Wilson found herself in a delicate financial position. But thanks to what she has described as a moment of “Divine inspiration,” she soon found herself with a job of which many artists can only dream.

Vickie Wilson

Photo by Konnie McCollum

Artist Vickie Wilson created a series
of murals depicting nature scenes
from the park on the dining room
walls at Clifty Inn.

Wilson created the series of acrylic murals that adorn the dining room at Clifty Inn in Madison, Ind.’s Clifty Falls State Park. The scenes in the murals depict images that can be found throughout the park.
There are a series of five 5x7 foot panels that show cascading waterfalls of Big Clifty, views of the Milton-Madison Bridge from the park, and cliffs and ridges along the many hiking trails within the scenic park. Another series of connected panels at the front of the dining room show actual trees and sites within the park. One of the panels is an amazing depiction of the gnarled, split tree along Trail 8 where it crosses Clifty Creek.
“These murals are incredible,” said Shelly Brian, who was eating lunch in the dining room one day in June. “They almost look like actual photos instead of paintings.”
Wilson, 51, has considered herself an artist since she was in the seventh grade at school. “That’s when I knew I was good at art,” she said. “I love working on my art, and to this day I am always working on something.”
After graduating from Indiana University Southeast with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Wilson went on to earn a master’s degree in Art Education from the University of Louisville. She has been working as a teacher in a variety of capacities since. Currently, she works as an art history instructor for Oakland City University at Madison Correctional Facility.
“I love to teach,” she explained. “I prefer to teach studio art because it’s almost therapeutic and it can be amazing, but recently I have been doing more art history and art appreciation.”
Wilson said it was “an act of God,” that led her to the mural painting at Clifty Inn. After a series of unfortunate problems, she had depleted her financial savings. She needed to do something, but she wasn’t sure what to do.
“I honestly feel like I was told to take one of my works, get it framed and take it to Clifty Inn to sell it,” she said. “That’s exactly what I did, and it turned out to be an amazing opportunity for me.”
The management at the Clifty Inn loved her artistry and asked her to paint the mural panels while the hotel was undergoing its major renovation. For the next 21/2 years, Wilson worked daily on creating the realistic-looking landscapes on the walls. She photographed scenes throughout the park and carefully studied each one before committing them to the walls.
“This was a true blessing from God,” she said. “I am so thankful I was given the chance to create these. I loved working on them.”
While she was painting, she also began working at the park and has been there for the past six years.
Although she stays busy between teaching, painting and her work at the park, Wilson is also interested in offering art lessons and would love to teach for other colleges or universities in the area.

Back to July 2010 Articles.



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