Shana Wilson, portrait and figurative artist from Edmonton, Canada. Photography © S. Wilson

1.Tell us what you do and your beginnings.

I am a portrait and figurative artist, working primarily oil on canvas, for over 20 years. My journey started with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and working in marketing, until I realized that it was the design aspects that resonated with me. At that point, I picked up some paintbrushes, went to art school, and have never looked back. Very quickly it became apparent that I had an aptitude and love for the face, finding the resemblance quickly, bringing color, texture, and vitality to the flesh.

2.What are your favorite museums in the world? Why?

Any museum with a fair representation of work by female artists and artists of color on its walls, is a favorite of mine. Sadly, this is a very short list which is why virtual museums are quickly becoming relevant with a more inclusive range of artists thus more interesting and progressive artwork.

I have a grave concern that the walls of our major historical institutions are overflowing with imagery of women that range from nude/titillating to subservient, in addition to very little work from women artists. The figurative work is also grossly whitewashed. Our school children visit these institutions as an important part of their education, and the imagery is oppressive. I would prefer a child, of any color or gender identification, leave a museum feeling empowered… seeing images that look like them, created by people like them.