Gene Pearson

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Gene Pearson Gene Pearson, born in 1946 in St. Catherine, Jamaica, is a 1965 Graduate of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. He taught at several high schools in Jamaica and also the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. He has exhibited widely both locally and internationally including at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and UC Berkeley in Berkeley California.
Work by Gene Pearson. In March 21, 2001 he was awarded the "Hall of Fame" Award For Excellence in the Field of Visual Arts and in 2006 he was given national honours in the rank of O.D. for distinguished performance in the Arts. In October 2010, he was awarded the Silver Musgrave Medal in the field of Arts by the Institute of Jamaica.

Gene Pearson, born in 1946 in St. Catherine, Jamaica, is a 1965 Graduate of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. He taught at several high schools in Jamaica and also the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. He has exhibited widely both locally and internationally including at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and UC Berkeley in Berkeley California.

His work is represented in films, Publications and leading corporate and private collections internationally including the private collections of celebrities in California and other parts of the USA like Stevie Wonder, Singer/Musician, Arnold Schwarzenegger, former governor of California and actor, Alice Walker, author of the Book and Movie "Colour Purple" and others. He has completed commissions for several local hotels, including Swept Away Hotel and Grand Lido Hotel. He was interviewed on the tv program "Black Renaissance" aired on Channel 44 for his 1991 and 1993 exhibitions in California.

His work has been presented by successive Prime Ministers as gifts to several foreign dignitaries, including Heads of States and other celebrities. Beneficiaries of his work included; Leonid Breshnev of the Soviet Union, Prime Minister Phan Van Dong of Vietnam, President Lopez Portillo of Mexico, Mr. Taba Marouf Vice President of Iraq, Mr. David Rockefeller President of Chase Manhattan bank of New York USA, President Nelson Mandella of South Africa, Ms. Roberta Flack Singer/ Musician, Ms. Maya Angelou renowned American Poet and Author and President Bill Clinton of the USA.

His work appears on the Jamaican $1.40 stamp released on 26th April 1993 depicting "Jamaica Ceramics" from the Hardingham Collection. In March 21, 2001 he was awarded the "Hall of Fame" Award For Excellence in the Field of Visual Arts and in 2006 he was given national honours in the rank of O.D. for distinguished performance in the Arts. In October 2010, he was awarded the Silver Musgrave Medal in the field of Arts by the Institute of Jamaica. Over the years his exhibitions have received critical acclaim.

Gene Pearson shaped his legacy

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

On March 15, the local visual arts scene lost one of its stalwarts with the passing of ceramist Gene Pearson.

The 73-year-old died at a Corporate Area hospital following a brief illness. He died two days after his ex-wife Jacquelyne Hussey-Pearson.

Born in Wood Hall, St Catherine, Pearson moved to Kingston in the early 1960s and was one of the first students of master potter Cecil Baugh at what would become the School of Art.

Art enthusiast and curator of the defunct Mutual Gallery Gilou Bauer said Pearson extended the meaning of sculpting by moving away from the traditional concepts of renowned British potter Bernard Leach.

“Gene came up with a more African expression in his work. This in itself led to thoughts on identity and nationalism. This was indeed a most important point in redefining the meaning of pottery and ceramics for local artists, who have undoubtedly been influenced by his work. This influence can be seen in shape and meaning of their work,” said Bauer.

She called for use of social media to keep a younger generation informed about contributions of greats such as Pearson.

“Unfortunately exhibitions, which offer greater exposure to artists, have become limited in the Jamaican space as there are not many commercial galleries in existence. It is therefore inevitable that we come up with new ideas to expose younger people to these masters. The use of social media is a great way of getting this across and educating on these masters in the fine arts and show how they have contributed,” Bauer noted.

Carol Hamilton, vice-principal at the School of Art at Edna Manley College, remembered Pearson from her days as a student. She said his demeanour made it comfortable for students to go to him for advice.

“He was such a stalwart. His quiet, soft-spoken nature made him so easy to talk to as a teacher. Then he was a superb ceramist. He broke the boundaries which existed at the time he started. Despite being the protégé of Cecil Baugh, he was determined to create his own identity in his work. This must have been difficult at a time when the arts was seen as just a hobby.

“But he showed that with consistency, persistence, one can become accomplished... this he certainly was,” Hamilton noted.

That commitment was also saluted by sculptor Basil Watson. He said it was Pearson and Christopher Gonzalez who ignited his own love affair with clay and sculpture.

“He was such an inspirational teacher and as a person, I can't say enough good things about this exceptional artist of our time. I would classify him as one of our greats. He was prolific and exemplified what it means to be a true artist. With all his international recognition he maintained his generosity of spirit. Young artistes can learn from Gene's dedication, strong work ethic, and his commitment to working and producing at the highest level.”

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Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp by Sculptor John Free. Seeking to attain his tribe's highest war honor by touching his enemy. This action among indigenous peoples is called "Counting Coup".
Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp by Sculptor John Free. “Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp” is a bronze created by Osage Artist John Free. The bronze, eight feet high and twelve feet long) was enlarged to 1-1/4 life size through the efforts of John Free of the Bronze Horse foundry in Pawhuska and Hugh Pickens. Pictured (L-R): Hugh Pickens, Executive Director of Pickens Museum and Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear of the Osage Nation.
Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman by Artist Daniel Pickens. “Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman” is a mural painted by fine artist Daniel Pickens. Daniel was born in Lima, Peru in 1974 and is currently living in Stockholm, Sweden. This mural is at our Ponca City location.
Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman by Artist Daniel Pickens. Our mural "The Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman" is located in City Central at our Ponca City location.
Doctor Pickens Museum of Turquoise Jewelry and Art. Pickens Museum displays art works at NOC Tonkawa campus. Pictured (L-R): Dr. Cheryl Evans, NOC President, Hugh Pickens, Executive Director of Pickens Museum, and Sheri Snyder, NOC Vice President for Development and Community Relations. (photo by John Pickard/Northern Oklahoma College) This art is at our Tonkawa location
Native American Artist Yatika Starr Fields Completes Mural for Pickens Museum.
The World's Largest Naja. Future location of Pickens Museum on Route 60 and "U" Street West of Ponca City
Architectural Renderings of Pickens Museum.
Display of Turquoise Jewelry.
"Red Man" by Native American Artist Fritz Scholder. Pickens Museum Director Hugh Pickens on right.
Native American Jewelry Artist Tonya Rafael with a silver frame she created to honor my wife Sr. S.J. Pickens. My wife and Tonya worked together over the years creating new jewelry art pieces. My wife had an eye for color and would often design a spectacular piece and ask Tonya to execute it for her. A skilled silversmith, Tonya would sometimes stay in our guest house, set up a workshop, and work for days at a time on a Squash Blossom, Bolo, or Bracelet my wife commissioned. The piece is a silver picture frame that Tonya cut out of thick silver plate. Around the edge of the picture frame are 95 small turquoise stones. In the top is a large spiny oyster stone in the shape of a heart. The frame contains a photo that Tonya took of my wife a few years ago. Dr. Pickens is wearing one of her favorite outfits and if you look closely you can see a special squash blossom and necklace that Tonya created for my wife. In the bottom of the frame is an inscription.
Native American Artist Jolene Bird. Jolene Bird is an accomplished artist who learned her craft from her grandfather over 20 years ago. Jolene makes her jewelry in the tradition of the Santo Domingo Pueblo in New Mexico. This is a Fender Stratocaster guitar onto which Jolene has attached pieces of Kingman and Sonoran Turquoise highlighted with Jet. The stars are in Abalone, Mother of Pearl, Pipestone, Yellow Serpentine, and Spiny Oyster. The artistry in this piece is simply breathtaking and has to be seen to be believed. Consider that this is a three dimensional mosaic, a three dimensional jigsaw puzzle if you will. Jolene told me that each individual piece of turquoise had to be cut, shaped, and ground down to fit perfectly with the other pieces. Each individual piece probably took six to eight hours to produce and there are literally hundreds of pieces covering the guitar.
Painting by Peruvian Artist Josue Sanchez. Photo Credit: Hugh Pickens Pickens Museum

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