After receiving his MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Arkansas in 1979, Charles Peer opened his studio on the historic Main Street of his hometown, Van Buren, Arkansas. In 1990 he and his family moved to Siloam Springs, Arkansas where he assumed a teaching position in the Department of Visual Arts at John Brown University, a position which he still holds. In addition to serving as professor he is also the university’s Fine Arts Gallery Director.
Peer paints his native Arkansas landscaped as the framework for exploring his interest and love of color. “I have a particular interest in color combinations that create a richness of surface, an inner glow or that make a painting ‘sing’. My goal is to combine the beauty of the landscape with the immediacy of drawing and the magic of interesting color. My chosen materials are soft pastels on a hand textured and painted surface. All of this is in an attempt to develop that color richness I am looking for.”
Peer is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and the Ozark Pastel Society. He has served as a guest artist for many arts organizations, the juror for regional competitions and the leader of pastel workshops.
He was recently included in the October/November 2016 issue of Pratique des Arts, a beautiful art magazine published in France, in an article titled “To Be Discovered” and in the December 2015 issue of Pastel Journal Magazine in an article titled “Artists to Watch”. His work was included in numerous juried exhibitions sponsored by the Pastel Society of America and the International Association of Pastel Societies, as well as receiving awards in the Richeson 75 exhibits for Small Works and for Landscapes, shows held by the Northwest Pastel Society, the Pastel Society of the Southwest, the Arkansas Pastel Society, The Heart of America Artists Association, the Ozark Pastel Society and the Artists of Northwest Arkansas. Peer was recognized with the Purchase Award at the Rockefeller Institute Professional Artist Invitational in 2010 and selected for the 2015 “Oklahoma Impressionism Exhibition” at Tulsa, OK’s Zarrow Center for Art and Education. In 2010 he was also selected as the summer Artists-in-Residence for the Buffalo National River.
“Most of the locations I paint are local and I continue to find inspiration in the colors and beauty close to home, Northwest Arkansas and Northeast Oklahoma. I believe my goal is summed up in a quote by noted Jewish-American trial lawyer, Louis Nizer, who said, ‘A fine artist is one who makes familiar things new and new things familiar.’ ”
Charles is married to Cecilia. They are the proud parents of Jordan, and the doting grandparents of Collier and Londan.