Sereno Wilson (b. 1979) was born in Germany and moved to Chicago at a young age. A working artist at Gallery 37 (an arts training program for youth in Chicago) during his high school years, he became a very skilled painter while working on the program’s popular Park Bench Painting series. This technical skill has helped him to develop a unique style and process. When Wilson first began at Project Onward, he was still driven mainly by painting, though often incorporated glitter and other mixed media into his paintings and assemblages.
Over time, the work became more and more about glitter, and the studio’s ability to supply the artist with an extensive assortment of glitter colors also led, over time, to an almost exclusively glitter-composition style. By “painting” with glue and applying blocks of color with glitter, Wilson creates spectacular images of celebrities and fellow artists, special commission portraits, and lucky images that express his hopeful sense of fortune and fate. Recently, the artist has been reintroducing elements of acrylic painting back into his images. In 2019, Sereno exhibited his solo exhibition Haitian Symbols and Spirits at the Haitian Musuem located in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.
Wilson’s accurately caricatured depictions of hip hop artists, actresses and visitors to the studio, and his obsessions with four-leafed clovers, dollar signs, prime numbers and glitter-bling make him a wildly popular artist at Project Onward. He joined the studio and gallery in 2009 and lives in Albany Park, Chicago.