Nashville International Airport > Art & Music > Exhibits > Wilson Lee Jr - Back to Now

Wilson Lee Jr - Back to Now

Wilson Lee Jr.

Art Case, C Waiting Lounge
Dec. 3, 2018  - Feb. 24, 2019

Wilson Lee Jr. was born into a family of woodworkers in Greenville, Miss. Lee's family, including his mother, brother, aunts and uncles, refinished and repaired antique furniture. His first steps as a child were toward a bowl of shellac in his father's shop. Lee started carving at age 12, and found that woodcarving allowed him more creativity than refinishing furniture. He wanted to capture the spirit of a changing world in his work during the Civil Rights Movement.
While earning degrees in social science, public affairs and sociology, Lee kept the creative spirit alive by developing a style of his own. His artwork paralleled a career in higher education administration. Today, Lee's abstract expressions still represent the reality of people struggling for equality.

About Back to Now
Lee states, "My work touches on religion, blues, marriage, family, spirituality, justice, hate, freedom and ancestry. Trees tell stories. What have they seen? What have they heard? What did they witness? The wood that once lived, lives again in the work. In doing justice to God, nature and self, I want to give meaning to that which has lived. The wood speaks to me, and a dance occurs between us. Together, we create a work that makes a statement. Someone must comment on the world, and I choose to comment through wood. I thank God for the gift."

Arts at the Airport receives funding for the visual arts from the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA) and the Tennessee Arts Commission (TAC). The Flying Solo Exhibition Series is funded under an agreement with TAC. For more information about Arts at the Airport, please call (615) 275-1614 or send email to