Nov 19, 2014 — Feb 1, 2015
Longtime Charleston resident and artist Margaret Peery (born 1941) initially planned a career focused on objective numerals and factual data rather than such subjective elements as color and atmosphere. Even today her expansive paintings of Charleston’s urban landscape reflect her penchant for precision. Peery’s work is the subject of a new exhibition at the Greenville County Museum of Art.
Peery grew up in Jackson, North Carolina, and moved to Charleston, where she attended Ashley Hall. She graduated from Hollins College and earned her master of arts in mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She worked as an actuary before beginning watercolor painting in 1981. Although Peery is largely self-taught, the artist took part in several workshops with Charleston-based artists, including West Fraser.
Using her mathematical skills, Peery constructs a detailed grid before drawing the landscape. She then layers watercolor washes on top of the drawing. Peery explores the atypical and less picturesque urban landscapes of Charleston and documents the rapidly developing and changing city. The exhibition at the GCMA includes 14 of Peery’s large-scale watercolors, including a panoramic triptych of the Holy City titled Power.
Peery is a member of the Georgia Watercolor Society, the Southern Watercolor Society, the Louisiana Watercolor Society, and the South Carolina Watermedia Society. Her work is included in the collections of the Greenville County Museum of Art and the Gibbes Museum of Art, among others.
On Sunday, December 7 at 2 pm, you can hear Margaret Peery discuss her exhibition and reflect on her work, her painting techniques, and her inspirations. The event, which is sponsored by Duke Energy, is free and open to the public.
Margaret Peery is on view at the Greenville County Museum of Art through February 1, 2015.