Emily Williams-Wheeler - Art and Street Murals
Emily Williams-Wheeler
Emily Williams-Wheeler

Emily Williams-Wheeler

Fargo, ND

"Whimsical elements, exuberant colors, plays on words. Paintings and sculptures."
Emily Williams-Wheeler is a self-taught artist. She graduated with distinction with a BA in interior design. Her artwork is collected worldwide. Known for her whimsical style, bold colors, and interesting mark-making, Williams-Wheeler plays in many media, including acrylics/graphite, encaustics, and wire/paper sculptures. She has exhibited widely in solo and group shows. Her work is found in medical, educational, corporate, and residential installations.

Williams-Wheeler earned the prestigious award of Outstanding Artist of 2018, given by The Arts Partnership because she created an artist residency program at West Acres Retail Mall in Fargo. At the time, it is the only mall in America offering such an opportunity. In 2017, Williams-Wheeler’s acrylic/mixed-media painting, “Weather Permitting,” was selected for the cover of European art magazine, 1340ART, Q3. Her work was included in an article and on the website. Her artwork has been incorporated into the architecture of new Dorothy Dodds Elementary School in Moorhead, MN, which was recently completed. She also has more than 30 paintings installed at the North American Corporate Headquarters of Horsch-Anderson Manufacturing as well as many other commercial and residential installations. She was named North Dakota Artist of the Year by the prestigious TOSCA Magazine of Minneapolis, MN. In 2018, she was a touring artist for the state through the North Dakota Art Gallery Association with her show, “Lint in My Pocket.”

Williams-Wheeler has a studio in Moorhead, MN. She has been offering creative thinking and art appreciation classes to children of all ages for nearly 15 years and leads workshops in mixed-media, encaustic painting, and creative problem solving. She lives in Fargo, ND with her amazing husband and crazy, lovable Labradoodle, Ollie.
Q&A

How do your pieces come to life? Tell us one interesting thing about your creative process?

"My work is always an evolution. I begin with an idea or title and work with that for awhile, but more often than not, the piece turns in its own direction. My work comes to life through movement. Movement on the canvas through color, line, and texture or the motion in the 3-D work."
-- Emily Williams-Wheeler
Q&A

What do you want people to do or feel when they encounter your creations?

"Joy!Color elicits joy and quite often my subject matter is light hearted, but not without an intellectual meaning. I also love to play with words so my titles are clever or humorous."
-- Emily Williams-Wheeler
Q&A

What funny moments, unexpected surprises, or obstacles have you encountered?

"I am afraid of heights. I found out I had to install my 7' x 6' suspended wire and paper sculptures in the West Acres Mall and that really concerned me. However, I knew I didn't want anyone else to do it. I used a scissors lift to get up nearly 20' and drive it around a fountain while reaching precariously to hang each sculpture. I wasn't a very good driver, but in the end, I realized it was kind of fun since I was the one in control. My daughter couldn't stop laughing as I kept running into the side of the fountain."
-- Emily Williams-Wheeler
Q&A

What is your favorite material to work with?

"I always return to acrylics and graphite. I love to experiment so I have fun with many media, including wire, paper, clay, and encaustics. I do not enjoy oils as much and that may change as I experiment more."
-- Emily Williams-Wheeler
Q&A

What motivates and inspires you?

"My mantra is, "You'll never know unless you ask." This drives me to try new things, think "big", and propose some pretty amazing project ideas without fear. I learn from every step I take."
-- Emily Williams-Wheeler
Q&A

What makes a space special?

"There are many elements that make a space special. Lighting is foremost. It can be ambient lighting or directional, but it definitely creates the mood. Artwork and interior design are next. Then music and aroma. One of my own favorite installations is in a wonderful restaurant which meets all the criteria of a special space. Then, you add in special people and the space is perfect."
-- Emily Williams-Wheeler
Q&A

What’s unique about your work?

"My work is whimsical and very colorful, whether it is a painting or a suspended sculpture. There is a lot of playfulness in my art."
-- Emily Williams-Wheeler
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