School of Art and Design Alumni Exhibition 2021

Wellington B. Gray Gallery

Back to Alumni Exhibit main page

Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge

Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery


Pete Sack
Graduated 1998

Art needs to evoke the states of mind we thought we were alone in having, but instead belong to the average lot of all humankind.  In this time of curated lives, whether online or on the surface, where everyone is perfect and you are the outcast, art is needed to show reality.  That our fears, doubts and worries are the same to the masses.  Because it is created by a flawed human, art has the ability and responsibility to cut through the mirage.  To connect and be true.

The portrait or depiction of a person continues to be what excites me when I paint, as both a way to understand myself better and to connect to a viewer. The masking or obscuring of faces stems from by belief that we never 100 percent know someone or what they are thinking.  This includes our own selves and isn’t necessarily devious or a bad thing.   So a true portrait of someone has to be obscured in order to reveal the true nature of self.

I start each piece with little input on the end result, choosing rather for the piece to dictate where it wants to go.  I choose faces that tell an interesting story.  Once the painting is complete and the dust has settled, I then figure out the meaning to me.  The way that I paint, a tightly rendered watercolor underpainting, with a loose/gestural acrylic or oil painting allows me to achieve my goal.

Pete Sack is an artist currently residing in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Sack combines oil paint and watercolor in his multi layered paintings. He removes found images from their original context and uses them to create a new narrative, one that comes across as a personal moment.  He is represented by Mahler Fine Art in Raleigh, NC and works as the Artist in Residence at the SAS Institute.  His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Walter Magazine and the News & Observer.

Wishful Thinking, Watercolor/ Oil on paper, 19 X 15.5, 2020