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Miami Artist Jon Peck begins Summer Residency at Cooper Union

Exhibition view at the Museum of Contemporary Art at Goldman Warehouse, 2007

Exhibition view at Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art’s Goldman Warehouse, 2007

Today ex-Miami-based artist Jon Peck begins his one month summer residency program at The Cooper Union. With plans to settle in NYC after the residency’s completion this will no doubt be a good introduction for Peck who has the opportunity to begin networking and meeting other artists before he seals the deal with his own apartment. Aside from the social and vocational advantages inherent with such a migration his work is also in a place right now where some solid dialog and criticism could be very beneficial.

Welcoming this development he says: “I believe the word portraiture can be used to describe almost all of my work to date and I’m interested in expanding the notion of portraiture from direct representation to a more metaphoric approach. Material exploration is important to me as well, as I like to look past the causal nature of ordinary materials and use them in extraordinary ways. Most recently my work has been comprised of materials such as crayons, Styrofoam, and a variety of papers. I enjoy the elementary quality of materials such as these, but I like to go beyond the elementary, beyond what is expected. I’d like to leave the residency with some new relationships and a clearer idea of what could be improved, and what could be next.”

Out of the Trenches, 2006, Life-sized paper trench coats and skulls, crepe paper, cardstock, Elmer’s glue

Out of the Trenches, 2006. Life-sized paper trench coats and skulls, crepe paper, cardstock, Elmer’s glue

This illustrious and coveted program is a great opportunity for any emerging artist and one which he will certainly have more to say about upon its completion. Right now, however, the only problems he foresees are the ever present issues of time and money – after all, one month is not a long time (especially when the lion’s share of you oeuvre is huge, laborious crayon drawings) and as anyone will tell you, the residency program at Cooper is not free, far from it in fact! (Tuition $3,800; Housing $1,200). Nevertheless, if you can afford it there are some obvious advantages such people involved, and who wouldn’t want to spend the summer in NYC! Oh and its hot! Yesterday’s recorded temperature beat Miami at 104! So, actually on second thought perhaps no-one would really like to spend the summer in NYC! Too hot and too expensive…come to think of it, it seems kind of like the opposite of great!

In all seriousness though it is a wonderful opening; and Peck who slaved for over three years in his studio in downtown Miami to become somewhat of a staple of the local art community definitely deserves it – though he will be sorely missed. And so it is with mixed emotions that we watch him leave. Pleased of course that he joins the long list of notable pervious residents including Dana Melamed (2005) (Priska Juschka Fine Art, also in this years Whitney Biennial), Tyson Reeder (2006) (Daniel Reich), and most recently Miami’s own Pepe Mar (2007) (David Castillo), but at the same time quietly reticent that yet another budding hopeful has spread their wings and unsurreptitiously buggered off! However, despite a low probability that Jon will return to Miami to live anytime soon we do expect to see him participate in shows here from time to time and he will of course be eternally welcome, as no matter how much his outward appearance might change, he will always be Miami’s little Pecker.

Untitled (Portrait of Lou), 2007. Crayola crayon on paper, 42.5\

Untitled (Portrait of Lou), 2007. Crayon on paper, 42.5″ x 89″

Jon Peck studied sculpture at the Kansas City Art Institute, and graduated in 2002 with a BFA. In 2004 he was invited to become an artist-in-residence at the Art Center of South Florida in Miami Beach. In 2007 he received the prestigious South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual Art, and was included in the exhibition ‘New Art: South Florida 2007′ at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami. Recently his work was featured in the infamous book ‘Miami Contemporary Artists’, and next year will appear alongside artists such as David Hockney and Elizabeth Peyton in the next addition of the series “The Male Nude in Contemporary Art and Photography,” published by Rizzoli.

The dates of Jon’s residency run from today, Friday June 13th, through to July 11th. An exhibition entitled Opening of The Cooper Union Emerging Artists Residency Exhibition featuring newly finished work by Peck will open on July 6th at The Cooper Union, 7 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 6-8PM


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Miami Artist Jon Peck begins Summer Residency at Cooper Union