Michael Pearson, artist and native of Dennis, MA, began painting in 1995. From 1995-1999 he attended painting workshops with Sam Feinstein, a master painter who taught philosophy and art to hundreds of students for more than 50 years. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from University of Montana, Missoula in 1999, Michael returned home to Cape Cod where he entertained private commissions and became “house artist” for B2 Burrito Bistro in Hyannis, MA, a position he continues to hold. After a year of post graduate studies in Portland, Oregon, Michael again was compelled to return home and in the spring of 2004 he opened Harvest Gallery in his native town of Dennis to promote his paintings and those of other contemporary artists.
Following are excerpts from an interview with Michael Pearson, artist and owner of Harvest Gallery Wine Bar, regarding his views on art, buying art and the concept of this gallery.
On his philosophy as a painter......
MP: Pay attention to nature, the way it operates and by paralleling that it will inevitably allow you to express your own nature. By paying attention to nature on the outside, your inside nature will automatically come out.
Ideas should be looked upon openly...I see artists get an idea and become signaturized by it, creating a product... The idea is really less important, it is the painting that is important. The idea is a spark...Great quote by Picasso, "I go outside, I see green, I go to my studio, I paint red." In other words, he's inspired by nature...but it's harder to get the essence, and it's what I am inevitably looking for in my own work and for the artists in the gallery.
In the end, I am always looking for an overall feeling. It doesn't matter if it is an abstract painting, a still life, a figure or a collage; it's just getting those units of the medium to relate to each other and interact.
On his philosophy of the gallery....
MP: It's important that paintings last. I want the art to be there affecting people. I look for art with a distinct emotional presence. One might say, it's all subjective, but I am quick to point out, do you believe in quality? My mentor and one of the greatest painters I have ever known, Sam Feinstein, had a quote, "Familiarity Breeds Content." People are content with Realism because it is familiar to them.
I am trying as a gallery owner to be an educator, to get people to see beyond the content, to not look at things and expect to see something that they know. The English language is incredibly limited at describing some of the things that they are feeling...
Hopefully, there comes this relationship between me, those people and the artists; and at best, all of us are sitting around, having a drink and enjoying each other's company. That's what I am concentrating on now, not about trying to bait them with a certain image, but to build this wonderful relationship.
Pearson was recently reviewed for Cape Cod Magazine's May 2008 issue. Regarding the Wine Bar added last spring, Pearson is quoted saying, "So often galleries are reduced to shopping. My intent with the Wine Bar is to encourage people to hang out, to sit down, to relax and enjoy. I want them to appreciate and enjoy the art and discuss it. Art generates a lot of opinions, and if there is a piece that sparks criticism, that's great."