Studio@620 The Studio@620

The Evolution of Pedro Jermaine

Original artwork by Pedro J. Perry

The Studio@620 welcomes an exhibit of original artwork by Pedro J. Perry. "The Evolution of Pedro Jermaine" will be on display September 20th -October 1st with an artist reception on Saturday evening September 24th from 6:00-9:00 PM.

Bio: 

I was born March 29, 1979 to a single mother. As a child I developed a severe stutter and everyday conversation became a tedious task. Reading became a very difficult pastime. At the age of 6 I discovered my gift of art while watching an episode of the Muppet Babies. The episode focused hidden talents and I recall looking all over my mom's apartment for mine, failing to realize that it was already there.

Once I discovered my talent, I was drawing all over the place; whether it was on the walls of my home or on the walls of public buildings. My art was my shelter because it made me feel like I had something special to offer. By the age of 8 ( with my grandmother's encouragement) I was speaking and reciting poetry in church. By age 13 I had my first job with the City of Live Oak working with the street department. My grandmother was extremely determined to teach me the value of education and hard work. At the age of 14 I was offered my first publishing deal on a book I had written and illustrated. I turned down the offer because I was not satisfied with my work.  I have always set my standards high, so I am constantly trying to reach an unobtainable goal. 

I was spending the majority of my free time doing art, sometimes as many as 14 hours a day during the weekend. I would even skip meals. By the age of 16 I was a motivational speaker and I would travel all over North Central Florida providing words of encouragement to children and teens. On my 16th birthday I would see my father for the first time. I was terrified but everything went well. I would see him once more for a few minutes at my high school graduation; in all I probably spent 5 hours of my life with him (that I can recall). 

I attended the University of Florida from 1997 until 2002 and I obtained my BA in Visual Art Studies. During my college years I began working as a commissioned artist. I focused mostly on portrait drawing. In 2008 I released the first book of the "Shelly" series with author Kentrell Martin, which I illustrated. The books specialize in teaching children ASL (American Sign Language). In 2010 at the age of 31 I would reveal my first painting in approximately a decade, "Grand Awakening" followed by "Project War Kill". You can visit my site www.pedrojermaine.com for more information.
     


Artist Statement

To truly enjoy the good things in life, you must endure the hardships and so the journey begins...

A naive 8 year old boy is sexually abused by his friend who forces him onto a bed while he cries in fear, he fights to free himself and eventually he does. He runs with all his might back home but never mentions the encounter to his family. An inquisitive 12 year boy starts to wonder why he has never met his father, he attempts to visit him but is constantly pushed away; he soon develops feelings of betrayal. His art becomes his shelter and freedom; freedom from all the worries that plagued his mind.

A 15 year old boy looks at his reflection in an old mirror and asks himself "what is your purpose in life?"  He has just endured a beating by a group of co-workers but he struggles not to cry because it shows a sign of weakness.  He endures the kicks and blows to the head day after day and eventually his life is threatened. He is told that his life doesn't matter while a razor blade is placed upon his neck. He struggles to make sense of all the hate but learns to look past it and forgive.  He returns to that old mirror every other day for about a year, staring at his reflection and asking the same question "what is your purpose in life?" And one day he made himself a vow that he would make a difference. 

An 18 year old male college student is told to leave campus on several occasions by various groups of students. They resort to calling him nigger, bastard and faggot; they don't even know him. Even though he is hurt he simply smiles and waves. He strives to be humble like his grandfather. A professor tells him that he is not good enough for the college, he heads back to his apartment where he cries.  He soon breaks all ties with his father who eventually dies from cancer. He is pushed away and is told that his father never mentioned his name. He is threatened with legal action if he attempts to call about his father again. He isn't recognized as one of the children at his father's funeral. He often contemplates suicide but deep down inside he knows he has a special gift to share with others. The drive to share that gift pushes him on. He turns to poetry as an outlet.  He develops a strong feeling of compassion for others. He longs for global peace after the events of 9/11.  He tells his mother "It's ok one day I will make a name for myself." All the while the voice of that young 15 year old  boy resonates "what is your purpose in life?" 

It is the hurt and pain.  It is in the global events that have inspired me. It is in my fear and uncertainty.  It is my faith in God. It is that need to be an inspiration to others on the verge of losing all hope. It is in my acceptance of the past.  It is my odd yet complicated views on life.  It is in my need for some privacy.  It is my belief in global diversity; The equal treatment and acceptance of others and my desire to protect it.  It is in my ability to have compassion for others; To love in spite of hate and to keep striving in spite of doubt or failure. It is the evolution of Pedro Jermaine. 

Patron Sponsors

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Al May Central Art Supply Company Bank of AmericaBella Brava City of St. Petersburg Creative Loafing Eckerd CollegeHermanHOME Florida Humanities Council i love the 'burg Gobioff Foundation Florida Arts and Culture - Florida Division  of Cultural Affairs Kahwa Coffee Roasting Law Offices of  Diane Bailey, P.C.Progress Energy Renaissance Vinoy Hotel Rouson & Associates Sembler Company Stetson University College of Law St. Pete Brasserie St Petersburg/Clearwater  Convention and Visitor’s Bureau St. Petersburg Times SunTrust Bank TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach Trust for Public Land Tyrone Frame & Mirror USF St. Petersburg Watermark