Exhibit a family affair

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By Kirsten Laskey

One of Los Alamos’ longest resident families, the Wilsons will spread their artwork throughout the library’s upper gallery.

It is more than just art being celebrated; the show is also honoring family. It is even in the name of the show, Coschwivancundun, which is a “tribal name,” and combines everyone’s last names.

The exhibit kicks off with a reception from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday. The show runs through May 30.

Expect to see it all in this show. Dee Wilson will show her paintings while Janet Wilson Cordova, a violinist, will perform during the reception with the Dulce String Quartet.

Additionally, the other participating artists include Barbara Wilson Schwan, a painter; Robert Schwan, a photographer and collage artist; Steven Wilson, a poet and painter; Pablo Soler de Mota, a painter; Dana Wilson vanWestrienen, painter; Kimberly Wilson Cunnington, fabric artist; David Cunnington, painter; Dale Wilson Dunn, playwright; and Stephen Dunn, photographer.

“It’s a creative bunch,” Dee Wilson said about her family.

It was Dee’s idea to bring the family together for an exhibition and everyone pitched in to make it happen.

Dee described the show as “a gathering of a family.”

“It’s fun to share in a community where (they) all grew up,” she added.

Barbara said it was the first time everyone in her family has participated in the same art show. It’s like a family art show,” she said.

“Some of us are painters, photographers … we just thought it would be fun to exhibit all our artwork together. We have never done it before.”

Barbara said her mother, Dee, and her father Howard Wilson came to Los Alamos in 1955. They had six children Janet, Barbara, Steven, Dana, Kimmy and Dale.

Howard was pediatrician to three generations of  Los Alamos children and Dee raised the children, helped develop Pajarito Acres in White Rock and served as the guidance counselor at the high school.

Barbara said art just simply ran in the family.

“I don’t think people have a choice of who they are,” she said. “Being artistic – it’s just something you’re compelled to do.

“Our mother always encouraged us and made us feel like anything is possible. She exposed us to art and music and traveling around the world.  This exhibit is really a tribute to her.”

Dee added, “Everyone has pursued what their talents are.”

In a press release, Dana credits the art and music teachers at Los Alamos Schools and her mother for fostering her own art and that of her siblings.

Steven also said in the press release that their mother nurtured the arts.

“From early on our mother took us on trips to both coasts, Mexico, Europe and of course lovely Santa Fe, and the Pueblos.  We were exposed to the arts and music throughout the ages.  All of us went on to study and live and work around the U.S. and abroad.  Most have returned to New Mexico to raise their own families, a couple of us continue to visit,” he said.

“We are all here together now with our families who have also contributed some works of art to share with the community that nurtured us.  This show is a tribute to our mother, Dee, who encouraged us throughout our lives and helped us to see what beauty there is in the world.”