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Arts Council’s ‘Frank Peacock Retrospective’ opens Aug. 4


“Frank Peacock Retrospective – Then to Now” is a Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC) exhibition featuring 55 years of artwork by the acclaimed Las Cruces artist. The show is Aug. 4-28 at DAAC, 230 S. Water St.

The exhibit begins with an opening reception, 5-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, at DAAC. Peacock will be the featured guest during “An Afternoon with the Artist,” noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, at DAAC.

“Above all, painting is a communication art,” Peacock said. “The artist acts as translator of nature for the viewer, combining accuracy of subject matter, imaginative use of the painting medium, and the drama of the real event. Thus, the viewer is encouraged to participate by formulating their own moment of realization through the artist’s vision of a time and place.

“Another important phase of my work is the ability of acrylic to be painted on one surface and when dry it can be removed, cut, or formed and then affixed to another surface,” Peacock said. “Two types of paintings result from this approach: overlapping and interwoven geometric shapes to illustrate the light/surface relationship of color and texture; and quasi-abstract compositions to illustrate either a physical, mental, or emotional theme.”

A Las Cruces native, Peacock attended New Mexico State University on a music scholarship, and was highly sought after for his engineering skills, he told the Bulletin in a 2017 interview. But, as he was

confined to a house in Compton, California, during the Watts riots in the summer of 1968, with the Democratic National Convention on television, Peacock completed two paintings that changed his career choice and his life. He became an artist.

“I was 19 when I started,” said Peacock. “My dad didn’t talk to me for 10 years.”

Peacock, who turns 74 July 28, has had more than 70 exhibitions of his work in multiple states in the past five-plus decades. After living in California, Pennsylvania, Colorado and, for 26 years in Santa Fe, Peacock returned to Las Cruces with his wife, Jane, in January 2015.

After Peacock graduated from NMSU in 1973 with a BA in English and a BFA in studio painting, he moved to Berkeley, California, to attend graduate school, and fell in with local artists – the “literati.”

“You’re a studio artist,” someone told him after about six months; “go paint.” He did.

Peacock has created about a dozen series of paintings over the years: the foggy Golden Gate Bridge, the rolling greenery of Pennsylvania, the snow of the Rocky Mountains, and the Canyon Road (Santa Fe) “pot shard” and “red tree” series as he returned to his New Mexico roots. He has painted many Mesilla Valley pecan orchards since returning to Las Cruces, and in 2021, he transformed St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church’s Kendrick Chapel into “a unique spiritual space” by creating and installing eight windows consisting of 1,943 individual pieces of stained glass in brilliant reds, blues, greens and yellows.

For more information, contact DAAC at 575-523-6403. Visit daarts.org.