By CHERIL VERNON
Elkhart resident Beth Pearson Lund will be the featured artist at the Museum for the East Texas Culture for the months of September and October.
The opening artist reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 in the museum’s art gallery.
“Many of my pieces are based on oilfield workers of Eastland County where I grew up. This body of work contains both acrylic paintings and charcoal and acrylic drawings done on wooden boards,” Lund said. “The wood in these pieces mostly came from family land where old oilfield equipment stood rusting for decades. That is all gone now.”
According to Lund, dogs and men have shared a long history together — popular subjects in her artwork.
“I think the directness of painting and drawing, whether on canvas or wood, is a way to capture the fundamental nature of animals, men, labor and their relationship to time and place,” Lund said.
Her current work is more concerned with personal symbols related to loss. The themes of horses and wings reoccur in these pieces.
“I use discarded objects such as weathered wood, rusty iron and old hardware to create my own metaphors concerning complex human emotions,” Lund said. “My work tends to be autobiographical and draws on both the nature and symbolic traditions of art. In either case, I am after an emotional response from the viewer.”
Lund, who was born in Austin, grew up in the small town of Ranger during the 1960s, where her father worked in the oilfields running his pulling unit and her mother raised five children.
“As a child I remember riding with my brothers or sister in my father’s pick-up to check wells or feed the cows. My mother, an extremely gifted artist, also had art books in the house and always encouraged me to draw,” Lund said. “These experiences have had a deep influence on how and what I paint.”
Lund has attended different schools and workshops. In 1989, she received a bachelor’s degree from Tarleton State University. In 1993, she completed her master’s degree in painting from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
She currently lives in Elkhart with her husband and a daughter, where she continues to paint and work with wood and found objects.
Over the years, in the last few years, she has had exhibits at various galleries in Texas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Ohio and Massachusetts. Her work also is featured in three permanent collections.
The Museum for East Texas Culture’s art gallery is open to the public during regular museum hours. The museum is located at 400 S. Micheaux St. For more information, call the museum at 903-723-1914.