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MIAD figure drawing model accepted into France residency

A collage of images of living state Alice Wilson

Alice Wilson (image courtesy of the artist)

A performer by trade and longtime figure drawing model at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), Alice Wilson’s resume spans everything from sketch comedy to performing in Dead Man’s Carnival to recognition as Milwaukee’s premiere living statue artist. Now Wilson, who performs as Ginger Whimsy, will add an international artist and writers residency at Chateau Orquevaux in Champagne-Ardenne, France to her list of accomplishments.

Since 2006, Wilson has lent her skills in figure modeling to MIAD’s students. “A friend who had gone to MIAD suggested looking into it,” she explains of her introduction to the college. “I love the creativity of it, the oftentime peacefulness and meditative nature, and being surrounded by other creative people. On more than one occasion I have thought of characters and other creative ideas such as events I’ve produced.”

Wilson’s background in performance arts, including a degree in Theatre Performance from UW-Milwaukee, informs her current practice. “In the early/mid 2000’s, I started meeting the founders and performers in Dead Man’s Carnival,” she explains. After performing skits and burlesque numbers in the Carnival, Wilson also founded a silent movie-themed sketch comedy troupe that remained active until 2014.

On the lookout for a solo act option, Wilson became interested in living statue performance. In 2015, she was hired to perform as a living statue of the Mona Lisa at Bastille Days. From there, her interest increased and expanded. “I still wanted to do more of an actual living statue, but wanted to do something a little different than just being all gold, white, or silver,” she says. “I got to work creating a bronze living statue of Willy Wonka, so he was my first one. It then snowballed from there as I kept thinking of new characters. I currently have about 23 characters!”

Creating her intricate looks using elaborate face painting and costuming, Wilson is recognizable all over Milwaukee for her work as a living statue at festivals and events. Later this August, Wilson will take her talents internationally for a two-week residency at Chateau Orquevaux in France. There, she hopes to “gain inspiration from my surroundings at Chateau Orquevaux and from other artists” and refine her focus to learn a new way of working on her craft. “Maybe [I’ll] learn or discover a new artist skill or medium,” she continues, adding that she hopes to “make some lifelong friends.”

Read more about Wilson from the Shepherd Express or Milwaukee Magazine, keep up with her on Instagram and learn more about MIAD’s Open Figure Drawing classes.

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