By Page Leggett
The grant, which Wilson calls “monumental,” is lighting a new path for the UNC Charlotte alumna.
“This grant is … essentially my first big win,” she said. “I had been trying to find a way to share my art. I had recently been told I should write a book so that my words could travel where I could not. When I saw this opportunity, I jumped. [It] started many firsts – my first grant application, my first grant acceptance, my first book and the first … steps toward making my passion my profession.”
The grant allows her to self-publish and promote her book of poetry, tentatively titled “Feel Out Loud.” The collection, which centers on Black and queer experiences, is designed to “let … people who have had their voices and experiences silenced know their voices matter,” she said.
She’s launched an apparel brand (Intentionally E.Y.E., which stands for “Envisioning Yourself Exquisitely”) and plans to launch a podcast that’s an extension of her art.
“Since I was 11, artistic expression has always been an outlet,” she said. “I’ve wanted to be a rapper, singer, dancer, visual artist, poet, actor, etc. I enjoy creating over a wide range of mediums and collaborating with artists of different practices.”
Wilson is inspired by nearly everything – her “life, community, relationships, culture and cross-cultural experiences, queerness, Blackness, existence and the existence of [those] she loves.”
The message in her art is powerful and universal: “Be yourself unashamedly. Stand in your power. You are here for a reason and what you bring to the world is uniquely yours. You are needed.”
Apply for An Artist Support Grant
If you are an individual artist or artist collective in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region in need of support for professional and artistic development, click here to apply for the next round of ASC Artist Support Grants by Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, at noon.