Joseph Peragine, the juror for the upcoming show at the Anderson Arts Center, considers himself a painter but works in several mediums, including sculpture and installations. As a painter, he works in acrylics, oils, and watercolor. He has a BFA from the University of Georgia and an MFA from Georgia State University and teaches drawing, painting, and printmaking at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
He chooses materials based on the concept he’s trying to get across. “I usually get fixated on something,” he said, “and it starts with drawing.” An example is a series of tank paintings he completed based on memorial tanks in France. “I was over there teaching watercolor and needed a subject to hone up on my skills,” he said. “I was staying near the D-Day battlefield. I started painting the tanks as an exercise and got very interested in their form and history and vulnerability. It’s like peeling away an onion. The start can be superficial, but then you dig deeper to find the poetry or metaphor.”
He’s also done some memorable public art projects. “Most public art is on the safe side,” he said. “None of mine are.” These include Breathing Tank, an inflatable sculpture that “inhales” and “exhales” at regular intervals; Bottle Dome, a collaborative project made of over 2500 plastic water bottles; Gilded Hand, a series of 44 paintings located in the Municipal Court Building of Atlanta that explores the responsibilities of citizens; and Brute Neighbors, a set of nearly 200 sculptural ants that march across the walls, ceiling and ductwork above the baggage claim areas at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
As a juror, Peragine said he’s interested in two parts. “I really, really appreciate formal skills,” he said. “That goes a long way. It shows depth in the materials, playing around with the materials, wrestling with the materials and having success. But I also like to see work that tells a bit more about the person—not just a cliched image.” He also considers his immediate reaction to a piece of art as well as its lingering impact. “I trust my gut but try not to ignore the fact that things might change if I spend more time with it,” he said.
Entries for the Anderson Arts Center’s 2020 Juried Show will be accepted from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on March 19-21. Please see https://andersonarts.org/exhibitions/annual-juried-show/ for updated guidelines about the show.
For more information on Peragine, visit https://www.josephperagine.com/.