Holly Wilson's bird-inspired sculptures and paintings will be showcased at Friday's Live on the Plaza 

"Unguarded"
Works by Holly Wilson
7-10 p.m. Friday
Midwestmedia & Marketing, 1614 N. Gatewood

Toys were stacked on a child's worktable in the corner of Holly Wilson's cramped home studio. Through the window, a miniature theme park of slides, wading pools and other pint-sized playground equipment filled her backyard. Like most parents, the signs of offspring permeate her house, but also extend into her artwork.

With imagery akin to the dark fantasy of filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and a heavy emphasis on bird masks, Wilson's bronze sculptures and encaustic paintings express the shift in perspective,as playing with her children revived her vivid imagination.

"When you are a kid, you can be anything you want to be when you wear a mask. It's a way of taking on a new identity just with a change of costume," she said. "I'm more drawn to the bird because when I dream, I always dream I am a bird. It's kind of dorky, but the bird image is really strong with me."

Wilson's new "Unguarded" work is on display 7-10 p.m. Friday at Midwestmedia & Marketing, 1614 N. Gatewood, for the monthly Live on the Plaza event. Photographs taken while Wilson's family played throughout the house, trying on masks and existing in their dream world also will be displayed.

"Having kids helps you go back to that mind-set, and I hope I don't lose it, because I know I had lost it for a long time," Wilson said. "You get caught up in your life "? 'I have to do this and I have to do this' "? but I forget that if I put on a mask, I can fly."

For more information, visit www.hollywilson.com. "?Charles Martin

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