Oscar Pearson

GENEROSITY, 2022 By artist Oscar Pearson

Acrylic, 504 sq ft

Artist’s Statement

The mural ​​speaks to several themes, including recognizing the valuable contributions of farm laborers on the Central Coast and the agricultural bounty of our region, as well as Cal Poly’s student contributions to the field of agriculture. It also aims to encourage student and community interaction.

The artist describes the title of the mural, “Generosity,” as being synonymous with abundance: “Nature is generous to us. Overflowing gifts from nature, generous trees fruiting, generous earth sprouting, generous hands working and offering, and generous minds in teaching. Generosity keeps life abundant.”

Triptych Design The central panel celebrates the agricultural bounty of the Central Coast. Referencing iconic Central Coast landmarks such as the sand dunes, unfettered coastline, fields and orchards. Celebratory touchstones that bend pictorial spaces offering multiple perspectives of topography and agrestic production.

The left panel is an indirect and unexpected way of taking a figurative look at the life of farm laborers and agricultural workers — showing another side of their essential work that makes the agricultural bounty of the Central Coast possible. The viewer sees their car and lunch cooler that indicates communal experiences of daily work and serves as a visual tribute demonstrating generosity and reciprocity. The workers themselves are unseen. The omission of the figures is a visual metaphor, addressing their often underrecognized contributions to society. Oftentimes their labor and the vital role that they play in maintaining our food systems is overlooked. The scene humbly honors them for the contributions they make to our daily lives.

The right panel emphasizes the artist’s interpretation of Cal Polyʼs hands-on curriculum, exemplifying the Learn by Doing ethos of Cal Poly. The panel introduces livestock, animal husbandry, and rodeo — an activity that arose out of the working practices of cattle herding and has been a part of the university's history since 1939. This panel was inspired by historic photographs found in Kennedy Library’s University Archives.

Bio Oscar Pearson (b. 1993) American (Central Coast, California)

Oscar Pearson is a California-based interdisciplinary artist and art-space activator working in the mediums of painting, mixed-media and murals. After three formative years working as an assistant to an established ceramicist, he decided to elevate his career as an artist, earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from California State University Long Beach. He co-founded and manages The Place on PCH, an art space and artist residency program in Oceano, California.

Oscar’s murals are inspired by California scenery. He uses bold shapes, integrated patterns, vivid colors and site-specific themes to create a growing number of murals in California. His mural work often engages local communities, reflective of creating a sense of place and belonging.

Unveiled on September 30, 2022

University Art Collection 2022.1.1

Permanent Collection, Cal Poly Corporation

Cal Poly Corporation
Object Identifier (Accession #):
© Oscar Pearson, reproduced with permission from the artist. The images associated with the objects on this website are protected under United States copyright laws. We are pleased to share these materials as an educational resource for the public for non-commercial, educational and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by law. Photo: Aaron Lambert/Cal Poly

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