Photo: Gallery


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Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Sunday, 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Windgate Visual Arts West 


View the 2017-18 gallery exhibition schedule here


In the Gallery:

And Then I Saw by Charles Peer

When asked to present this exhibit in connection with my upcoming retirement from JBU I decided that I did not want to do a retrospective, but rather display a selection of paintings created since our last faculty exhibit in Nov. 2016. The fact is, I am more interested in my current process of painting and in the forward momentum of my artistic growth than in looking back at my past body of work.

The title, And Then I Saw, was chosen to reflect my excitement in the whole creative process; the act of observation and interpretation of nature, the fascination with color interaction and my love of the pastel medium. I want this title to reflect a theme of discovery. 

The whole creative process is one of discovery. Every time I walk up to the easel there is an excitement of “what will happen this time?” What will I learn? What risks will I take and which ones will pay off?” There is always hope that something good will emerge, but there is also the thrill that disaster is right around the corner.  With each painting, I learn something new and feel the exhilaration of the process of creating. There is also an experience of enjoying and leaning into the gifts that the Lord has blessed me with. It feels celebratory to bring the gift of beauty and color to others through the blessings I have received.

So much of discovery is about learning to look, and then, more importantly, about seeing.  I believe I’m pretty typical in that I usually go through life in a dead rush, never really paying attention to what is around me. Consequently, I miss moments of beauty and unexpected blessings.  When trying to develop an idea for a painting, I am drawn to patterns of light but often I just don’t slow down enough to see them in the subjects around me. But when I do, I find a host of beautiful moments of inspiration. Some of these moments are reflected in the work in this collection. It is sometimes the shadow colors in a little downtown side street (Alley), the light hitting the cluster of trees on Sager Creek (The Midas Touch), or the blue and gold contrast of late afternoon light on clumps of dried grass along interstate 412 (Ozark Wetlands).

As I hear the voices in my head speaking the title, And Then I Saw, I heard three main interpretations. The first, with an emphasis on the words “And Then”, was spoken like an excited child sharing the moments of a recent experience . . .  “we went to the zoo and we saw a lion, then we saw a giraffe, then we rode the train etc.”  The second voice, with emphasis on the word “I”, brought this creative process to a personal level. I was not reading of someone else’s techniques or experiences, I was the one being the decision maker in front of the easel. The third interpretative voice emphasized the word “Saw”. This last voice was one reflecting on gained insights and knowledge. I felt these three voices cumulatively expressed the different facets of my experience is creating the work for this exhibit.

I believe that the Lord has blessed me with these experiences of seeing to help me appreciate his creative nature and to reflect on his power and majesty. In the book of Revelations, John uses the phrase “and then I saw” twelve times as he recounts the visions the Lord presented to him and the power of the images. In many ways, I too feel like I have witnessed His greatness. I only want to see more.

          When: This exhibit will be on display from March 27th to May 3rd
          Where: Windgate Visual Arts West

Check out this video to see the fun in Gallery Openings at JBU!



The ground floor of the Windgate Visual Arts West building houses a generous gallery room, capable of hosting a variety of shows. The lighting is perfect and the open space creates a great environment for receptions held at the opening of all new galleries (always including great food!). John Brown University has a wide variety of amazing artists in the upcoming gallery shows, and has hosted prominent shows such as Tim Ernst, the St. John's Bible, and Makoto Fujimura. The gallery also hosts many of John Brown University's finest local artists, faculty and students. We also have a Student Gallery in our other building, Windgate Visual Arts East. This features the work of JBU students in solo and collaborative shows.


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