Restoration NewsMedia

John Christian Wilson

Chris Wilson, loving husband and father, dedicated college professor, prolific artist, historic preservationist, and avid antique collector passed away on August 5 in Wilmington, NC. He is survived by his wife Kathy Wilson of Wilmington, and two grown children: son Matthew and daughter Singleton.

Chris was born in Waycross, GA and raised in Waycross and on St. Simons Island. He bought his first set of paints in college, and decided he was a painter. He earned his BA degree in art at Valdosta State University, studied drawing, bronze casting and art history in the University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy, and completed an MFA degree in drawing and painting at University of Georgia where he also pursued post-MFA studies. After graduation he was appointed Summer Artist in Residence at Savannah Art Association and then accepted a full time teaching appointment at Barton College (then called Atlantic Christian College) in Wilson, NC.

Chris taught and mentored degree seeking and non-degree seeking art students at Barton College for almost 40 years. During that time he was recognized for his exceptional teaching ability through the Barton College Jefferson-Pilot Faculty Member of the Year Award, he was granted the opportunity to teach as Visiting Professor at Aichi Shukutoku University in Nagoya, Japan, he took a travel-study group of students to Italy, and he also served as Regional Director for The Scholastic Art Awards for Eastern NC.

Chris had a passion for historic preservation. He painstakingly restored his 1785 Edgecombe County home, his 1854 Wilmington, NC home, and was project director for the restoration of Bellemonte House (1817) on the campus of North Carolina Wesleyan University. Chris received local and state awards for outstanding achievement in the field of historic preservation.

Of the hundreds of paintings done by Chris Wilson, he will surely be best remembered for his "From Murphy to Manteo — An Artist's Scenic Journey" series. He traveled across North Carolina on Highway 64 capturing compositions of mountains, waterfalls, the coastline, and varied country roads and cotton fields to paint a comprehensive portrait of the North Carolina landscape. Many of these paintings have been on extended view in the Capital District in Raleigh including in the North Carolina Museum of History and in the House of Representatives Chamber in the North Carolina Legislative Building.

The family has chosen to hold a memorial service at Barton College so colleagues, friends and patrons of his art may celebrate Chris Wilson's life with the Wilson family. The service is scheduled for Friday, September 1, 2023 at 2 p.m. in Howard Chapel on the campus of Barton College.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Barton College's "ACC Art Faculty Scholarship".