Artist Jean Reece Wilkey

An example of fine art by Jean Reece Wilkey

Photo of Jean Reece Wilkey


Jean Wilkey is an American artist based in New Mexico whose work combines objects, landscape, animals and the figure to explore aspects of perception, identity, and our relationship to nature. Wilkey has exhibited nationally and internationally, has been the recipient of fellowships and awards, and her work has been collected by individuals in more than a dozen countries. She recently exhibited work at Las Cruces Museum of Art, she was named the 2015 New Mexico artist of the Year by Exploring TOSCA magazine, and she placed as a finalist in The Artist's Magazine 30th Annual competition. Her work has appeared in Southwest Art magazine, The Artist’s Magazine and Exploring TOSCA. She is an active member of the American Women Artists and the Border Artists and teaches drawing and painting privately and at New Mexico State University.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Wilkey holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree in painting, a BFA in art and a Masters in education. She traveled widely and lived successively in Honduras, Costa Rica and Israel before moving to New Mexico where she lives with her husband and dogs, Schuster and Smudge.
About the work

My work is about our relationship to nature and to the world around us. In a sense, it’s about how we relate to nature as a metaphor for how we relate to ourselves.
Primarily, I paint still life and sometimes incorporate figures or landscape elements, so I spend a good deal of time in thrift shops and antique stores looking for still life props. I’m especially partial to 1950s ceramic animals and bright, shiny things. I look for shape, texture, color, and something that ‘speaks’ to me. I like to live with the objects for a time until they tell me what they want. Then I move stuff around until I find an arrangement that feels right.
I love the immediacy [...]

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