The Gloria Cachion Gallery at the Southbury Public library will host artist Peter Valaris from November 2nd – November 26th. Peter is a Tanzanian-born artist and photographer. His pursuit of creating art has been a life-long endeavor as an innate interest. His primary art medium is pencil. The exhibition at the Southbury Library is called: Penciling in Africa, exploiting the pencil medium.
Peter Valaris’ primary and secondary schools were in Tanzania and Kenya. He moved away from the region at age 22, first to the United Kingdom and then on to the United States of America to pursue undergraduate and graduate studies.
Peter’s fascination with people and nature stems from his early years; growing up on his uncle’s and father’s coffee and cash crop farm in Tanzania, which was remote by Western standards. Wildlife of all sorts abounded; many species of birds and animals were ever-present.
Peter is now eagerly pursuing his passion to create and openly share pencil art: that is bodies of work that capture nature’s moment in contemplation. The theme resonates with his personal feelings and emotion of having lived in this part of the world for the most formative years of his life. Pencil art is one of the most basic mediums in art, but never less compelling in bringing out the deep fabric of the region and its people and animals. He travels back and mainly uses his photos to inspire his art. As the pencil brings the animals to life, he learned so much about them. For example, he faces challenges drawing the skin of an elephant; the head of a rhino, the whiskers of a lion and leopard, the curling horns of the cape buffalo and not least the traditional look of the native people. On average, each of his drawings take 30 hours to complete.
Peter retired in 2018 as the VP Global Commodities at Stanley Black & Decker. He had been with the organization for 21 years. Peter holds a Master’s Degree in Metallurgy from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Central Connecticut State University.
The exhibit will be open during regular library hours which are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.; Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.; Saturday from 9:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. and Sunday from 12:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.