Will Wilson (photographer)

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William (Will) Wilson
William Wilson

1969 (age 50–51)
San Francisco, CA
NationalityNavajo Nation
Known forPhotography
AwardsEiteljorg Museum Native American Fine Art Fellowship (2007), awarded grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation (2010)

Will Wilson is a Native American photographer and a citizen of the Navajo Nation.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Wilson was born in San Francisco in 1969, but spent his childhood growing up on the Navajo Nation. He attended the government boarding school in Tuba City through 8th grade and was then plucked from the reservation and sent to Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts with a scholarship from the "A Better Chance (ABC)" Foundation. He attended Oberlin College as an undergraduate with a major in studio art, and obtained a Master's of Fine Arts in photography at the University of New Mexico.[2]

He has been an artist-in-residence at the School for Advanced Research.[2]


Since 2012, Wilson had been involved in the creation of a project titled the Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange (CIPX). Inviting a number of indigenous artists and other professionals, they are all involved in the production of various pieces of art of indigenous peoples that pose for them. Wilson, himself, uses a "old fashioned, large format camera and the historic wet plate collodion process" in order to create photos that are reflective of historic photographs. The resulting studio of photos from him and the other artists have been featured in a number of museums, including the Denver Museum of Art and the New Mexico Museum of Art.[2]

In 2014, Wilson's work was included in an exhibition of contemporary Native American Photography, As We See It, alongside Matika Wilbur, Tom Jones, Larry McNeil, and Shelly Niro, among others. The exhibition traveled through Russia and in 2016 and 2017 will visit the American West.[3] In February 2016, Wilson's work was included as a counterpoint to a large show of Edward Curtis photographs at the Portland Art Museum.[4]


  1. ^ Engel, Sophie (July 16, 2013). "No Reserve". Santa Fe Reporter. Santa Fe, New Mexico: City of Roses Newspaper Company. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c New Mexico Museum of Art (July 16, 2013). "Will Wilson: Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange at NM Museum of Art". Native American Times. Oklahoma: Lisa Snell. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  3. ^ "As We See It: Contemporary Native American Photographers". 516 Arts. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  4. ^ "Contemporary Native Photographers and the Edward Curtis Legacy". Portland Art Museum. Retrieved December 29, 2018.

External links[edit]