Spirit Form - Bronze at Freedom Corner
Freedom Corner - Proposed Kiosk - James McCoy, Frankie Pace and the Lower Hill
At Freedom Corner
Beyond the cross
Clay Way 1957
Mother and the URA
53 1/2 Crawford Street
Lee's Floral Shop
The Spirit Form
Rendered as deprived places, poor, abandoned, neglected and almost devoid of people, my artworks reflect deep-set emotions rooted from the few years I spent in Pittsburgh’s Lower Hill District during its demise in the mid 1950s.
In that brief period, poverty and a dysfunctional family, framed by Pittsburgh’s destructive urban renewal policy, shaped my outlook toward life. I was seven-years-old back then, the youngest in a family of eight. Playing in rundown buildings that were of no use to anyone except to those wanting to tear them down, I had no understanding how harmful the experience, not until thirty years later after a near-fatal head injury from a bicycling accident proved repressed childhood memories of that troubled time were still very much alive. Returning to the Hill District, I sought abandoned places that seemed like reflections of me. I took pleasure in the area between Crawford and Arthur Streets, venturing into vacant houses which served as places for introspection.
Accordingly, distress, gloominess, and loss controlled my artistic vision. The crowding and the cumulative value of lopsided objects in my drawings are not necessarily a reflection of the neighborhood, but symbolic of my uprooted unstable childhood. Rendered with intimate details related to my life, in effect, my drawings and photographs are narrative accounts that confirm my loss of a place and culture. My artwork is an emotional outlet through which I reaffirm my cultural heritage.
Long-standing rules of composition and perspective do not concern me. I prefer photographing or using mundane or neglected objects to express what I feel. I prefer the meticulous use of pen and ink or the ballpoint pen. Akin to handwriting, the linear technique suits my narrative intent.
Prior to starting his own firm, Carlos F. Peterson Technical Art, Mr. Peterson was an architectural draftsman and award-winning illustrator in the steel engineering industry. Now retired, Mr. Peterson is currently writing a memoir that addressed his family's experience with urban redevelopment on Pittsburgh's Lower Hill District. Mr. Peterson’s artwork has been exhibited throughout the Pittsburgh area. He has received juror’s awards for his work in numerous local exhibitions and purchase awards for drawing and painting at the Atlanta Life Insurance African American National Art Exhibition in Atlanta Georgia.