Gary Pearson Biography
Gary Pearson | Biography
Gary Pearson is an artist and Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Creative Studies at UBC Okanagan, in Kelowna, British Columbia. His exhibition history includes solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the US, Australia, Mexico, and Europe. He was the subject of a monograph exhibition titled Gary Pearson: Short Fictions at the Kelowna Art Gallery, Jan – March, 2018, and had a solo exhibition titled The Origins of the Romantic Sensibility at the Winsor Gallery, in Vancouver, in March 2018.
His art work is in many collections including the Vancouver Art Gallery, Kelowna Art Gallery, Kamloops Art Gallery, McMaster Museum of Art, Morris & Helen Belkin Gallery, University of Sydney, Sydney College of Art and Design, and the Residence Collection, Institute of Modern Art (IMA), Brisbane, Australia.
He has received numerous grants and awards, including the Vancouver Institute of Visual Arts VIVA award in 1991, and the Okanagan Arts Award in Visual Arts, in 2010. He has had artist residencies at PSI/MOMA, New York (1990-91); Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (1998); Triangle Arts Association, Brooklyn (2004); Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, Australia (2005); and Bus to Guadalajara Artist Residency, Ajijic, Jal., Mexico, in 2010.
He is also an exhibition curator, art writer, and author of the book The Creative Voice: Life and Art in the Okanagan, published by Caitlin Press, in 1998. His exhibition reviews have been published in Canadian Art, Border Crossings, and Sculpture magazine, among other publications. He has written numerous catalogue essays, and contributed a book chapter titled On The Outskirts of Town, for the book Re-Thinking the Contemporary Art School, the Artist, the PhD, and the Academy, NSCAD University Press, 2009. Pearson’s chapter addresses the challenges and opportunities facing university art departments in regional centres, in the context of the decentralization of art and its economies.
His curatorial background includes exhibitions for the Or Gallery, Vancouver (1987); International Artists Centre, Poznan (1995); Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna (1997); The Goethe Institute, Vancouver (1998); The Long Gallery, University of Wollongong, NSW (2006); Artspace, Centre for Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (2008); McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton (2011); Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, Kelowna (2018); and Galerie du Tableau, Marseilles (2018). He was inducted as a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA) in 2018.
In his Foreword in the Gary Pearson: Short Fictions exhibition publication, Kelowna Art Gallery, 2018, author Michael Turner writes:
’[…]I would like to consider the work of Gary Pearson, an artist known for his paintings, yet whose practice includes sculpture, video and text; an artist conversant in the Western art canon and its progressive modern rhetorics, but whose expressive, graphic figurative paintings resemble at times the work of an intuitive “outsider;” an educator who, though living and working in British Columbia’s pastoral Okanagan Valley, has travelled the world, and whose painted subjects have more in common with cosmopolitan art centres than with towns built on gold, fur, and orchards. Whether this context is acceptable at a time when European art history is disappearing from art school curricula is beside the point, for Pearson’s work is informed by, and emerges from, a conversation that, like painting itself, remains real as a perceptual force and, as such, real by its consequences.’