Emily Williams-Wheeler


“Lint in My Pocket

Fibers abraded by the motion of the wash cycle produce detritus of various colors and textures. The intricacies in the lint inspire the Williams-Wheeler to create expressive paintings using bold, luminous colors. Encaustic (pigmented wax and resin) paintings are fluid, textural, and unpredictable. The sculptural qualities of the pigmented wax entice me to carve into the layers exposing the evolution of the work. These pieces must not be handled even though wax naturally beckons one to touch it.

Encaustic paints are made of beeswax, Damar resin, and pigment. Wax has several inherent qualities that allow it to withstand the test of time: it is a natural adhesive; it is moisture resistant, mildew and fungus resistant, and unappetizing to insects.  Wax paint also does not contain solvents or oils so they will not darken or yellow with age--leaving the painting as fresh as the day it was painted. Encaustic painting can be polished to a glossy sheen or very textural and sculptural. The wax begins to melt at 175° F. As with any fine art, these should be kept out of direct sun and not hung over a heating element.


Originally from Iowa, Williams-Wheeler received her BA in Interior Design, with Distinction, from Iowa State University, in Ames.  Her artwork has sold worldwide. Based in Fargo, North Dakota, she has exhibited widely in the region including the Plains Art Museum in Fargo and the Rourke Art Museum and Gallery in Moorhead, MN. Her work has also been exhibited at small venues around the country. She also leads workshops around the region and has been offering semi-private art enrichment and creative thinking classes for children and adults in her studio for more than 10 years.
Williams-Wheeler has participated in numerous group exhibitions including annual Midwestern Exhibitions at the Rourke Art Museum, annual exhibits at the Spirit Room Gallery, and a duet show, "As Creatures" with artist Nathen Cantwell at the Cultural Center Gallery in Aberdeen, SD.  She has also had many solo exhibitions around the region including her encaustics debut titled "SHIFT" at the Uptown Gallery. Williams-Wheeler's solo exhibit, "Lint in my Pocket" is chosen as a traveling exhibition by the North Dakota Art Gallery Association (NDAGA) for 2017-18.

Williams-Wheeler received two grants in 2015 and 2016 from The Arts Partnership allowing her to study encaustic painting with well-respected artist, Lisa Pressman. Williams-Wheeler was awarded the TMI Artist-in-Residency from The Arts Partnership of Fargo, West Fargo, and Moorhead in December 2013 exhibiting, "Dangling Participles." She has painted several public murals including Recess West play area at the prestigious West Acres Mall and the play areas at the Ronald McDonald houses. She also painted more than 30 works of art for the North American Headquarters of Horsch Anderson Manufacturing. Williams-Wheeler designed the set for the Santa display at West Acres Mall. Currently, she is working with the Moorhead Public Schools to incorporate her art into the new Dorothy Dodds Elementary School. In January 2017, she created the West Acres Artist-in-Residence program. She will be the first of many artists to share creative processes with the public for 9 months in the West Acres Mall. She is represented by the Revland Gallery and the Underbrush Gallery in Fargo as well as at the Rourke Museum Gallery in Moorhead, MN and the Kaddatz Gallery in Fergus Falls, MN. She currently lives and works in Fargo, North Dakota.

Touring Schedule:

1. The Art Center                                           January 19 - February 24, 2018
    115 2nd Street SW
    Jamestown, ND 58402

2. James Memorial Art Center                       May 1 - 31, 2018
    621 1st Avenue West
    Williston, ND 58801

3. OPEN                                                         June 1 - July 1, 2018

4. Taube Museum of Art                                 August 1 - 31, 2018
    2 North Main Street
    Minot, ND 58703 

5. OPEN                                                        September 15 - October 15, 2018

6. Bismarck State College Galleries             November 1 - 30, 2018
    1500 Edwards Avenue
    Bismarck, ND 58501