Music Marries Visual Art with Lennie Peterson's "Synesthesia"
What: "Synesthesia: The Music Inspired Portraits and Mindscapes of Lennie Peterson"
When: August 15 through September 29, 2018
Where: Narrows Center for the Arts
Gail or Sudie at: [email protected]
"You know those rare occasions when you're stuck in bed with a really bad flu? The fever is roaring, you can barely move, and every bone in your body aches?"
Artist and musician Lennie Peterson begins to explain and, incidentally, perfectly healthy at the time of the interview.
"My whole life, whenever I'm sick like that, I experience these original, never-heard-before, sweeping, thundering orchestral symphonies in my head. I mean, I'm hearing a 200 piece orchestra play this original music that is Wagner and Mahler on steroids."
He goes on, "It's crazy. It's straight out of that last scene in Amadeus. But the irony of the experience is that I'm too knocked-out-sick to get out of bed or even sing it into my phone to write it down later."
"When I was a little kid I thought it just a normal thing everybody went through when they had the flu," Peterson laughs.
As he prepares for his work to be shown at The Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, MA, Peterson is reflecting on the origins of his music inspired artwork.
"I bring this up because I've always been fascinated with the hidden, inner workings of the subconscious mind related to creativity," he says.
Similar to the music playing in his head at those times, he says he has always been able to put a pen to paper and let his hand go freely, with a blank mind very similar to meditation, and let one line lead to another creating his Art; what he calls his "mindscapes".
"It is how I can express the potential of the subconscious mind; that state of mind where thoughts don't get in the way. When I'm there, I hear hundreds of smaller pieces of music within the music and I can create hundreds of paintings and drawings within one large painting. Fortunately, the paintings happen without having to be in bed with a fever."
Lennie Peterson has traveled the world several times dedicating his life to visual art, music, and arts education in a wide variety of capacities.
His award-winning artwork and illustrations have been featured in solo and group exhibitions in galleries throughout the United States and his art has been purchased throughout the world including Japan, Spain, Argentina, and Wales.
Peterson is also a former professor at Boston's Berklee College of Music and currently a professional freelance musician performing over 300 dates a year, including trombonist with the World Music band, Entrain.
He has toured extensively appearing with several renowned symphony orchestras in some of the world's most prestigious concert halls.
"My father is a musician and my mother was an artist so this path I've chosen is obviously no accident," Peterson says. "And my composer portraits combine the two worlds for me. They allow me to pay tribute to the musical geniuses who have shaped the world around us."
Peterson's large 6' X 3' composer portraits will be prominently featured at The Narrows exhibition. The original portraits are hand-drawn in pen, ink and oil paint and will be shown along with many other of his drawings, paintings, and videos of his "mindscapes".
"Lennie's passion for merging visual art and music is what The Narrows is all about," explains Debra Charlebois, Director of Public Relations at The Narrows. "It's a perfect match and we decided to host Lennie for a rare 6 week solo exhibition."
The acclaimed Narrows Center for the Arts was founded in 1995 for the promotion and enjoyment of the visual and performing arts. It is comprised of two visual art galleries, a performance theater and visual artist studios.
Thanks to generous community support and strong stewardship, the Narrows Center has grown into a 15,000 s.f. Arts venue located in the former American Printing Company mill building and proudly presents an ever-growing access and fellowship in the arts.
Lennie Peterson's work will be on exhibit from August 15 through September 29, 2018 and there will be an Artist Talk and reception on Wednesday, September 5 from 7-9 pm.
The Artist Talk will feature live music by guitarist Mark Campbell and bassist Tim Paul Weiner accompanying Peterson as he creates a large composer portrait in front of his audience.
At the end of the 45 minute minute presentation, Peterson will join Campbell and Weiner to perform a closing piece.
The following one hour reception and viewing are also free and open to the public and will include refreshments.