JOHN PEARSON is a Twin Cities native and graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (1975) where he studied graphic design, photography and drawing, with courses in intaglio printmaking under Tom Egerman and photography under Joe Gianetti.
Pearson’s design career led him to northwestern Minnesota where he created a series of soft sculpture and stuffed animals for Lady Slipper Designs, a non-profit cottage industry. When he returned to Minneapolis-St. Paul he worked as a graphic designer, typographer, art director, and digital media manager.
Through his career Pearson has explored visual arts through photography, painting, and printmaking. He joined the Highpoint Printmaking Cooperative in May, 2004 where he he shows regularly.
Since late 2015 Pearson has been working primarily in polymer photogravure, an intaglio printmaking process in which photo images are transferred to photosensitive plates.
In 2016 Pearson was an artist in residence at the North Dakota Museum of Art's McCanna House. Images captured during that time make up the series "Invisible Valley."
"I'm drawn to subject matter in which the man-made world rubs against the natural environment."
He has photos and prints in business and private collections around the Twin Cities, and his photography appears at the Minnesota History Center where it is incorporated into exhibits and hangs in public spaces. Pearson presently has prints available at Highpoint Center for Printmaking in Minneapolis.
Select Group Shows
2004: Minnesota State Fair exhibit, St. Paul, Minnesota
2007: Bloomington Art Center, Bloomington, Minnesota
2007: Swan Song Gallery, Maiden Rock, Wisconsin
2008: Winona Art Center, Winona, Minnesota
2008: Vern Carver and Beard Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota
2009: Swan Song Gallery, Maiden Rock, Wisconsin
2011: Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Minnetonka, Minnesota
2013: Circa Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota
2013: Minnesota State Fair Exhibit, St. Paul, Minnesota
2014: Bloomington Art Center, Bloomington, Minnesota
2014: Minnesota State Fair Exhibit, St. Paul, Minnesota
2015: Minnesota State Fair Exhibit, St. Paul, Minnesota
2015: Bloomington Art Center, Bloomington, Minnesota
2016: Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Minnetonka, Minnesota
2016: Arts in Harmony, Elk River, Minnesota
2016: Minnesota State Fair Exhibit, St. Paul, Minnesota
2017: "Invisible Valley," Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minneapols, Minnesota
2017: "Farm to Table," Red Wing Arts Association, Red Wing, Minnesota
2017: Minnesota State Fair Exhibit, St. Paul, Minnesota; Merit Award
2017: Bloomington Art Center, Bloomington, Minnesota
2018: "Surface Condition," Red Wing Arts Association, Red Wing, Minnesota
2018: Minnesota State Fair Exhibit, St. Paul, Minnesota
2019: Two Bird Upanishad, Swan Vision Gallery, Maiden Rock, Wisconsin
2019: "North // East," Circa Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota
2019: Bloomington Art Center, Bloomington, Minnesota
2019: "The Nature of Disappearance," Silverwood Park, St. Anthony, Minnesota
I have been working in the medium of polymer photogravure for the past three years. I am drawn to this medium because it brings the warmth, colors, and textures of intaglio printmaking to the immediacy and veracity of digital photography. I am still discovering the range of expression the medium offers.
I pursue photography to heighten my experience of the world. My subject matter reflects my abiding interests in natural history, landscape, and everyday domestic and commercial locations. I’m particularly drawn to situations in which human activity rubs against the natural environment, especially where some element hints at a storyline. Some subjects I return to again and again: details of natural history; fences and walls; brush and woodpiles; doors and windows; alleys and trails; backyards and industrial sites. I also collect items from the wild and photograph them in the studio under controlled conditions.
When choosing photos for printing, I am looking at both subject matter and formal qualities of composition, light, and texture. Then I need to believe that those qualities will be enhanced by the medium. Will the image be strengthened when presented in black and white? Could the subject be more revealing if it’s paired with a similar or contrasting image? What might happen if its surface is expanded across multiple plates, or if color is added during the printing process? Can it charm a viewer’s eye? I may start with a clear intention, but as I work with the image I try to let the medium’s tools and techniques inform the image’s possibilities.