Professor decorates trees in Celtic style Exhibit featuring paintings to open at Cal Lutheran

viagra arial, viagra sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;”>Trees decorated in a new take on a Celtic tradition and paintings based on medieval images will be featured in an exhibit at California Lutheran University in March.

symptoms arial,sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;”>“The Clouty Tree, The Devil, and Me,” an installation featuring paintings by Michael Pearce, will open March 5 and run through April 7 in the Kwan Fong Gallery of Culture and Art on the Thousand Oaks campus. A reception will be held at 7 p.m. March 5.

Pearce, an associate professor of art at Cal Lutheran, constructed the 20-foot-high clouty tree structures from sticks and ragged cloth. In countries with Celtic roots, clouty trees are ones that grow beside wells or springs and are decorated with rags and trinkets that act as prayers and charms. Pearce’s clouty trees hold three of his large paintings up high, making them into offerings in the sky. Visitors will be invited to tie their own rags to the trees, leaving their cares and prayers behind them.

The paintings in the clouty trees and others displayed in the exhibition are all part of a collection Pearce has produced in the last six years called “The Secret Paintings.” They are based on medieval images that were originally used for moral instruction in an illiterate age.

Originally from England, Pearce wrote his Plymouth University doctoral dissertation on using Neolithic British ritual art and architecture as a model for contemporary art. His research interests include alchemy, Renaissance symbolism and mysticism.

In his 2015 book, “Art in the Age of Emergence,” Pearce drew on philosophy, spirituality and neuroscience to examine why people have created art from the earliest days of history to today.

Pearce began teaching painting and drawing at Cal Lutheran part time in 2001 and became a full-time faculty member in 2005. Although he is primarily a figurative painter, the Thousand Oaks resident also has experience as an installation and theatrical scenic designer.In 2012, he founded The Representational Art Conference with another faculty member. Hundreds of artists, critics, academics, collectors and curators from throughout the world attended the last conference in November. As the curator of the Kwan Fong Gallery, Pearce has brought the works of many well-known artists to campus in addition to featuring students and faculty members.

Admission is free. The Kwan Fong Gallery is located in Soiland Humanities Center, which is located at 120 Memorial Parkway. The gallery is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call Pearce at 805-444-7716 or visit

Clouty Self Portrait


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