Ben and Nathan Pierce Exhibit Sculpture at Isle Casino
In an environment full of the fun and distractions of gaming, Ben and Nathan Pierce were trying to get your attention. The two sculptors, who displayed works in a joint show at the Isle Casino in Cape Girardeau last month, have a lot in common. Not only are they both sculptors local to southeast Missouri, they're brothers.
Nathan Pierce is a professional sculptor who specializes in large-scale public pieces that primarily include wood and metal, particularly structural steel. His sculptures have been featured in public art exhibits across the nation, including displays in Arkansas, Illinois and Alabama. He received his Bachelors of Fine Arts in sculpture from Southeast Missouri State University.
When asked about what influences his choices as an artist, he said: "I come from a blue collar family that has been in the construction industry for generations, and the idea to create sculpture from those same materials seems natural and permanent.”
The exhibit at the Isle® also featured some older works by Nathan Pierce, which were inspired by natural resources found in Southeast Missouri and the Mississippi River.
Nathan's brother, Ben Pierce, also received his Bachelors of Fine Arts from Southeast Missouri State University. His sculpture is influenced by the brothers' family background, as well as his four years of service in the military.
Ben Pierce had this to say about the new pieces of his series, “Balance,” which were on display here, "In this series I try to focus on form and material more than ever. The center oculus captures space and creates a window for the viewer to look through. We live in a society that has forgotten how to enjoy our surroundings…with our faces always in a laptop or smart phone. My hope for this work is to capture someone’s attention long enough…to see something unexpected."
That was a theme that went well with exhibition pieces from his brother's new series, Loss of Signal, which focuses on the issue of communication in today’s society.
The ten sculptures by Ben and Nathan Pierce were on display all through April in an exhibit coordinated by the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, and sponsored by the Isle. The exhibit included new pieces, as well as older selections from each artist’s personal collection.
Even if you missed the sculptures in the casino lobby, Rotunda, or in Keller’s®, you may have seen Nathan Pierce's sculpture, "Long Shot" on display as part of the Cape Girardeau Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit on Broadway earlier in April. One of Ben Pierce's sculptures was part of the first Cape Girardeau Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit on Broadway in 2014.
A casino may have been an unusual choice to display Ben and Nathan Pierce's art, but it gave them plenty of opportunity to connect and communicate with people in an environment other than the outdoor exhibitions both have done before.