Artist Interview with Jacqueline Wilson
“Support from Artist Trust has made it possible for me to be my authentic self in my artistry in ways that I never imagined.“
Our support for artists is powered by fundraising! As part of our effort to raise $200,000 before the end of the year, we are sharing interviews with artists from across Washington State. We ask about their hopes for the future and how we can best support artists. Read more below and make a gift today!
This week we spoke with 2023 Artist Trust Fellowship Award recipient Dr. Jacqueline Wilson. She currently serves as Principal Bassoonist of the Washington Idaho Symphony and Assistant Professor of Bassoon at Washington State University where she performs with the Solstice Faculty Wind Quintet. She is a founding member of Ensemble 337 and currently serves as a Co-Executive Director of the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition and Bassoon Symposium, Grants Coordinator for the International Double Reed Society, and co-hosts the Double Reed Dish podcast with oboist Dr. Galit Kaunitz. She is especially passionate about embracing diversity in her performances by elevating music featuring underrepresented perspectives and lived experiences, with a special focus on collaborating with Indigenous composers.
What has Artist Trust’s support meant to you?
Support from Artist Trust has made it possible for me to be my authentic self in my artistry in ways that I never imagined. Through my Fellowship, I was able to commission a concerto for bassoon and string orchestra by Navajo composer, Connor Chee, which I will premiere next June with the Ravenna String Orchestra. I grew up performing bassoon concertos by Mozart, Weber, and other famous Western composers. To have the opportunity to elevate and amplify the musical voice of a Native American makes performing so much more meaningful and significant to me as a Yakama bassoonist. Beyond the financial support, the Artist Trust Community has benefitted me through introducing me to other artists in Whitman County with whom I have engaged in exciting collaborations. For example, earlier this week another Artist Trust Fellow Io Palmer and I partnered together with other creative artists to present the panel, “Entangled: Showcasing the Arts and Humanities Through Visual, Music, and Writing Modalities.”
What are your hopes for the future of artists in Washington State? What would an ideal world look like for artists?
I was born and raised in Washington, and I love the Pacific Northwest. I believe that our region has a beauty and depth that is unmatched anywhere else in the world. I hope that the future for artists in Washington State allows them the freedom to portray that beauty and depth in ways that are uniquely their own. From Gary Larson to Bikini Kill, Washington creatives have always had a unique artistic voice and contribution to offer this world. I would love to see us continue and expand this trajectory, ever charting new paths. As an Indigenous person, I care deeply about this land; that it is cared for, and that the people who inhabit it thrive, personally, and artistically.
What is something you’re looking forward to with your work, practice, or community?
I am looking forward to performing Connor Chee’s Concerto for Bassoon and Strings with orchestras throughout Washington and beyond. I plan to bring Connor to Whitman County as a guest artist to work with young composers, and Native students. Specifically, I would like to collaborate with him on presenting performances of the work to Tribal Schools and reservation communities. I think it is so important to present our youth with positive role models who incorporate Indigenous pride into their careers and lives.
What support do you think artists and artist communities need right now, and in the future? Why is it important to support individual artists right now?
It is important to support individual artists because they are essential to creating thriving communities. Art helps us to understand our social, cultural, political, and societal experiences. Art can help to clarify our values and foster community. As we continue to encounter current events that are difficult to process, art provides context, guidance, and catharsis that is desperately needed. Accordingly, artists right now need the financial support and creative freedom associated with this function; they need to be elevated as essential to our collective well-being..
Why do you think it’s important for people to support Artist Trust as donors?
By supporting Artist Trust, donors are investing in the artistic well-being of Washington State and the Pacific Northwest. Further, because Artist Trust has made it a point to prioritize supporting artists from marginalized communities, donors are serving to elevate and amplify historically underrepresented perspectives and lived experiences. As a result, the artistic landscape of Washington State has an increased depth that more accurately reflects the richness of our multi-faceted community and region.
We hope you will join us in supporting Washington State artists! To make your tax-deductible donation today, visit artisttrust.org/donate.
2023Artist StoryFall AppealJacqueline WilsonLetter