Arts and Entertainment

BAC TOO, artists offer ‘Insights’

Artist Jean Pearson assembled a mind-boggling mix of broken bits and shards she has found on her forays along Fay Bainbridge and other island beaches. Instead of binding them with mortar, Pearson scans and catalogs each piece, then uses the software Photoshop to create intricate digital collages. Starting with a concept, she combines components one-by-one. On a computer at her Bainbridge home, she opened the 145MB, 293-layer file of the collage “Bainbridge Blues,” shown at right. She thinks the image would make a wonderful wooden puzzle.

Pearson, who has suffered from epilepsy for most of her life, is  one of more than two dozen artists whose work is featured in the February exhibit at BAC TOO, Bainbridge Arts & Crafts satellite space on the corner of Winslow Way and Madison Ave.

She’s not sure what to make of the show’s name, “Insights: Work by Artists with Disabilities.” She considers herself simply an artist, she said, but then, on second thought, admits that having disabilities “is part of our story, too.” She hopes  her work “opens more doors, expands how we define creativity.”

Pearson scopes the local beaches for flotsam she can use — shards, old door knobs, a worn pocket-watch – although living in a small apartment, she’s careful not to bring too much home. She tries not to let a recent hip replacement and back pain slow her down.

Pearson often pays tribute to the influence that her daughter Sara has had on her work. Sara died in 1994 at age 20 from a neuro-degenerative illness. Bright-minded and curious, Sara used to ask Pearson tough questions, but rather than give her daughter an answer, Pearson gave the answer back for her daughter to ponder herself. “What is courage?” was one such question and Sara decided it was about being whole.

Pearson, who was adopted as a baby, can see how making beauty from fragments and cast off items  is part of her own journey to wholeness. Insights, indeed.

 

Insights: Work by Artists with Disabilities

BAC TOO gallery features the work of 25 artists from the Kitsap Peninsula in a variety of medium, through February.

To learn more, visit www.bacart.org.

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