The Pearson Gallery Features Works by Leslie Pearson

Carolina Arts, A Publication Covering the Arts in the Carolinas

March Issue 2006

The Pearson Gallery in Fayetteville, NC, is presenting the exhibit, Contemporary Works of Faith, a new series of oil paintings by Leslie Pearson that delineates various biblical stories and ideologies. The exhibit will be on view through Mar. 31, 2006.

Much of the work by Pearson focuses on women and reflects the strength and perseverance they have obtained throughout their lives and personal spiritual journeys. Although the stories from the Bible were written and lived out in a time and culture that seem ancient and unfamiliar, there are timeless truths learned by those women that are relevant for today.

The use of text is an recurring thematic element in Pearson's work. Sometimes the words bring clarity to the painting and sometimes it adds to the ambiguity of the image. Many artists have combined words and images in their art on occasion. Some artists reject the combination on the grounds that visual art should stand on its own without language. Others prefer to use words exclusively. In Pearson's case, the interplay between words and images acts as an effective vehicle for communicating ideas.

The Anguish, one of the paintings in the exhibition, illustrates the biblical theme that joy can spring from a time of great sorrow. The concept is elucidated by Christ in the book of John, chapter 16, verses 20-22 when He likens the pain His disciples are feeling on the night of His impending death to the great but temporary pain felt by a woman in childbirth. He uses this example to comfort His sorrowful disciples and to alleviate their heartache with the assurance of His presence through the Holy Spirit and the promise that their grief would not last forever.

In the painting, the words "She no longer remembers the anguish" rests beneath a hovering mass of obscure, textured layers that suggests a haze of chaotic turmoil; a difficult, perplexing or trying situation. The heaviness appears to lift like a dark cloud after a storm and the phrase hangs in suspension like a whispered sigh of relief. The hand painted text is imperfect which reflects the flaws of human nature, while the words echo the most comforting thing that could ever be said to a woman in sorrow - the promise that her pain will be temporary and that God sees and understands her plight. Christ's promise that happiness can be birthed from of a time of distress gives hope to a hurting heart.

Pearson is a professional artist based in Fayetteville. A Missouri native, she earned a Bachelor's degree in fine art from Southeast Missouri State University (1998) and a Master's degree in Museum Studies at the University of Newcastle, England. She now works full-time from her home/studio and operates the Pearson Gallery.

For more information check our NC Commercial Gallery listings, call the gallery at 910/494-0690 or at: