Emily Wilson was raised in Huntsville, Alabama. In 1982 she received a BFA degree with a focus in painting from the Memphis College of Art, Memphis,TN. During her time there she developed an interest in wood and metal media. Combining media and techniques with painting she began exhibiting her sculptural works in 1985.
At the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, Tennessee, she took several semesters of independent study in the Wood Department at various times through the 1980’s and 90‘s,.
A whimsical narrative style already present in her early development of sculpture was greatly influenced by living in the New Orleans area during the latter half of the 1980’s. During this time, the discovery of wooden Mexican folk art helped inspire the painting techniques that she uses today. The imagery that appeared in her work at that time was also heavily influenced by her love of outsider artwork .
In 1990 she relocated to Pensacola, Florida, followed by a move to Smithville, Tennessee in 1995. The Florida and Tennessee environment seemed to influence a direction towards more nature oriented works. Then transitioning from the whimsical narrative to her current focus on stylized birds, fish, and organic forms contained in lyrical compositions. Today, Ms. Wilson lives in Northern Alabama and maintains a full time studio there.