We are proud to present this month’s featured artist; Gary Peer. His work is currently displayed in Capitol Contemporary Gallery on S. Capitol Blvd in Boise. The gallery will be hosting their opening reception Thursday, July 7th from 5:00 to 9:00 pm.

“I love wood. I love the beautiful grain patterns. I love the smell of the wood dust when grinding or sanding. My middle name is Holt ( and my mother’s maiden name), and comes from the German word for wood – Holz. My grandfather Holt was of German descent and worked with woods making utilitarian items on his lathe. I spent several summers, and my first grade year, living with my grandparents and spending time in his wood shop. Woodworking may be in my DNA, both literally and figuratively.” – Gary Holt Peer

Interview with the Artist: Gary Holt Peer 

Where did it all start? When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I grew up with a single mom from age three. Even in the 1950s, it was difficult for a single mother to work and pay for childcare. In order to manage, I would spend my first- grade year and many summers living with my grandparents in McCall.  There were few neighbors and only one with a kid my age, so I spent much of my time on my own, drawing.   I would use old National Geographic magazines as inspiration for my drawings. In high school I took art classes and was encouraged to pursue art by my teacher. My early artistic efforts were mainly on paper, and I drew and exhibited into the early 1990s until I was introduced to wood sculpture. Early sculptures were more figurative than current work, but a book gifted to me about the Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro inspired me to experiment with the contrast between order and chaos, which is now the main focus of my work. 

What kind of challenges and opportunities have you experienced in recent months?

Inspiration is always a challenge.  Finding beautiful wood has become a recent challenge.  The exotic hardwoods are almost impossible to find in thicknesses suitable for sculpture, and if you can find some, they are very expensive.   I now find myself searching for suitable domestic hardwoods.  The most recent opportunity was being asked to join Capitol Contemporary Gallery.   It is a very high-quality gallery and I’m humbled to be there.   I suppose a new opportunity will be the feature of your blog.   It may provide exposure to art lovers who may not otherwise see my work.

What’s next?

More of the same!   I love working with wood.  I love the fact that a tree that yielded such external beauty in its previous life may spend its next life providing aesthetic pleasure with its internal beauty.