Jean Wilkey Meet

Jean Wilkey

Las Cruces, NM

About Jean Wilkey

Las Cruces, NM

Jean Wilkey’s realist oil paintings combine both real and fake versions of nature to see how they “play” together in her constructed worlds. She’s fascinated with the play of light, shadow and color, which runs the gamut from bright and tropical to dark and moody. She imbues her compositions with personal symbolism but hopes the viewer will make his or her own metaphorical associations from the work.

Wilkey was fascinated with her grandmother’s paintings and always knew she would be an artist, having done her first oil painting at age 3 (much to her mother’s dismay). But she also dreamed of traveling the world so after graduating with degrees in art and education, she traveled to more than a dozen countries and lived for extended periods in Honduras, Costa Rica and Israel. Returning to the United States after more than two decades away, painting and showing her work all the while, she got her Master of Fine Arts degree in painting. She lives in New Mexico with her husband and two dogs, Simon and Schuster, and teaches at New Mexico State University.

Her work has been shown widely and is found in private collections in ten countries.

Visit the artist’s site

Selected Exhibitions

  • Las Cruces Museum of Art
    Las Cruces, NM, 2012
  • Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts
    El Paso, TX, 2012
  • Claypool-Young Art Gallery - Moorhead State University
    Moorhead, KY, 2011
  • Center for Contemporary Art - Munoz Waxman Gallery
    Santa Fe, NM, 2011
  • Biennial of Contemporary American Realism - Ft Wayne Museum of Art
    Ft. Wayne, IN, 2010

Press and Accolades

  • Manifest Gallery, national juried publication award, "International Painting Annual"International Painting Annual"
  • Honorable mention for the best interior, Biennial of Contemporary American Realism at Ft Wayne Museum of Art
  • Third Place for my painting "Fractured" at the Thirteenth Biennial Oklahoma: Centerfold 2008-2009


  • New Mexico State University, Master of Fine Arts
    New Mexico,2008 
  • University of Texas at Arlington, Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Texas A&M University, Master of Education

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