Leslie Pearson is an award-winning multimedia artist, community arts advocate, and educator. In 1998, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Southeast Missouri State University and was heavily involved in community arts programming as the Assistant Director of the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri and co-curator of Gallery 100 and the Lorimer Gallery in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. In 2000, she earned an MA in Museum Studies at Newcastle University in England and completed an internship at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art in Sunderland, England.
In 2001, Pearson joined the Army as a Photojournalist and Public Affairs Specialist with the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade. During her time in the Army she also free-lanced as an Arts and Entertainment journalist for the Augusta Chronicle, a daily newspaper in Augusta, Georgia.
In 2011, she earned an MFA in Textile Design at East Carolina University’s School of Art and Design in Greenville, North Carolina where she taught textile classes, worked as a studio assistant in the textile department, and assisted at the Wellington B. Gray Gallery. She has taught off and on over the years including painting and design classes at Brunswick Community College in Bolivia, North Carolina and Arts Appreciation and Senior Seminar classes Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Pearson is actively involved in the community of Fayetteville by serving on the Board of Trustees at the Arts Council and the Public Arts Commission, which reviews and comments on public art projects proposed or offered to the City of Fayetteville. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Surface Design Association.
As an artist, Pearson utilises many fibre based materials, processes and techniques to create sculptures, installations, encaustic paintings, and handmade books in which she explores themes of memory and identity. Examples of her work can be seen on her website: www.lesliekpearson.com.
My work is an investigation into memory, identity, and the transformative value of communication. I create pieces in response to new challenges, environments and relationships. As a multimedia artist, my material choices and processes vary with each new body of work.
I'm drawn to things that have layers of history. Be it handwritten letters, journals, old books, rusty metal, postage stamps, buttons, teeth, animal bones, or bits of fabric; my studio is filled with objects I've collected or unearthed. I'm a scavenger for the lost or forgotten things that have interesting textures, colors, and surfaces. I like to imagine the stories that these treasures hold. I'm inspired by organic forms found within the natural world such as pods, seeds, nests, eggs, and shells - mostly for the metaphor they hold as keepers, protectors, and incubators.