Up & Coming Magazine, May 18-24, 2005

By Michelle Walls

Visitors can enjoy a series of landscape paintings by local artist Leslie Pearson at the Market Square Gallery at 118 Hay Street. Pearson earned a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Southeast Missouri State University.

After earning a master’s degree in Museum Studies at the University of Newcastle, England, Pearson returned to the States and joined the Army. Pearson worked as a photojournalist for a military intelligence unit at Fort Gordon, Ga. while her husband was stationed at Fort Bragg. Pearson’s work encompasses a wide variety of different techniques including elements of realism, text, abstracts and texture through which she communicates her emotions and connects with people.

“The landscape paintings from the series Along the Journey are like excerpts from my memory journal,” said Pearson. “They represent places I’ve been throughout various stages of my life which have made an impression on me in a way that made me want to recapture, recreate and essentially relive the experience, so to speak.”

The landscapes represent memories that remind her of the feelings of happiness she felt when she and her husband spent time together mixed with the feelings of sadness, knowing that they would eventually have to part ways. “The paintings are for the most part void of people and tend to evoke a sense of loneliness or solitude. A lot of the paintings represent times in my life when I’ve felt loneliness and I think that feeling comes through in the painting. I want people to come to the gallery to see the landscapes and enjoy them on a realistic level” said Pearson. “They can also experience a part of my memory this way.”

This is Pearson’s first individual art exhibit in Fayetteville and she is excited about the showing. “Every viewer brings their own experiences to artwork when they see it. That’s why landscape paintings can be so relatible, because most people, at some point in their lives have had a need for the quiet respite of nature and have even felt small when encountering the greatness of God’s creation.”

For more info about 4th Friday and the venue locations, contact the Arts Council at 323-1776.