Book artist Brent Wilson has deep roots in Cache Valley, having grown up in Fairview, Idaho and graduated from Utah State University in 1956 with degrees in art and education. After working as a junior high school art teacher and as the art supervisor for the Salt Lake City schools, he completed his art education Ph.D. at the Ohio State University and spent a 30-year career at Pennsylvania State University, where he is Professor Emeritus in the School of Visual Arts. He was also made a Distinguished Fellow of the National Art Education Association and named that organization’s Art Educator of the Year.
The artist-books in this month’s spotlighted collection are Wilson’s visual interpretations of both his own early life in Cache Valley and the life of his great-grandmother, Lerona Abigail Martin Wilson. Lerona’s autobiography details her personal experience as a prophet who had vivid visions related to her Mormon faith. Brent Wilson has described Lerona’s visions as exposing “the fuzzy boundary between personal revelation to guide the life of a faithful Mormon woman and revelation supposedly given only through ‘The Prophet’ and intended to guide the entire Latter-day Saint enterprise.”
Dr. Wilson generously donated the originals of these artist-books, which are held in Utah State University’s Special Collections and Archives. His papers and artist journals are housed at Penn State University Libraries.