OXFORD – After teaching music for more than 33 years, Francis Wilcox decided he wanted to seriously pursue one of his other long-time interests: painting. Now with 30 paintings in his collection, Wilcox will display his work in an exhibition at the New Hartford Public Library.
Wilcox grew up on a dairy farm in Oxford. He graduated from Oxford Academy and Central School before going on to obtain his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Potsdam and his master’s degree from the University of Lowell. His interest in painting began in college. Wilcox explained that while he always enjoyed painting, it was difficult to find time for it while he was teaching.
“In the last five years I’ve been working at it quite a bit,” Wilcox said, explaining that he had started studying painting at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute a few years before he retired. Wilcox had devoted a good portion of his time since retirement to learning more about the fine arts. He has continued taking courses with Sandra DeVisser at the Art Institute, and he is now pursuing an associate’s degree in fine arts at Mohawk Valley Community College. Transitioning from a teaching role to that of a student was an easy change, Wilcox said. “Being a teacher makes me appreciate a good teacher when I see one,” he said. After taking several classes, including some in Scotland and Tuscany, Wilcox said DeVisser at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute has become his mentor, and has taught him the most about painting.