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Carolyn Ferris and Wes Wilson Collaborate To Create Psychedelic Rock Poster Art

By: Dr. Gail Barnes

The queen of the surreal and the father of the rock ’60s concert poster had worked together before, but in July 2016 Carolyn Ferris and Wes Wilson officially teamed up to design a sublimely surreal poster for the Doobie Decibel System show at The Westcott Theater in Syracuse, NY. As Carolyn described it, “This is Wes Wilson’s and my first copyrighted image together in true collaborative/team effort. We had great fun designing it and bringing it into its vividly full and magical life.” The DDS collaboration was followed shortly after by another poster, this time for Roger McNamee’s other band, Moonalice.

Carolyn who used to live in Fairfax, California, recently moved to Missouri near to where Wes is based.  Describing her career in art Carolyn said, “I worked with Timothy Leary over a span of about six years, and have created work for Santana, The Fillmore, and The Warfield. I joined the incredible Moonaliceposter artist pool in 2009; within it, I find sanctuary with great music and adventure. In the years I’ve been with Moonalice, my style to date has now changed three times!  I started making posters with computer art using photoshop. In 2013, I used acrylic on canvas to create posters.  By 2015, I put away those acrylics and I’m now creating posters using ink on paper, Wes taught me how to make an ink poster.

Wes Wilson, who is generally acknowledged as the father of the ’60s rock concert poster, was born Robert Wesley Wilson on July 15, 1937 in Sacramento, California. He helped pioneer what is now known as the psychedelic poster. His style of filling all available space with lettering, of creating fluid forms made from letters, and using flowing letters to create shapes became the standard that most psychedelic artists followed. It helped put the “psychedelic” in the art. Today, Wes Wilson and Carolyn Ferris collaborate together.