Growing up, Kokomo resident Bradley Pearce said he always felt he had an advantage over other students in his art classes.
After all, he said with a smile, not all children had a mother like him, who helped nurture the love of artistic creativity in him from an early age.
“It’s (the art) always right around the house,” he said. “She always had projects that she was constantly working on, so I saw her a lot. Back then, we didn’t have a lot of video games to keep us busy, so I just did what was in the house.
Pearce’s mother Tammy Roe also caught the artistic bug very early in her life, and she admitted she was proud when her son resumed his passion.
And now the circle is complete with their collaborative gallery titled “Bloodline: A Mother and Son Exhibit,” now on display at the Kokomo Art Center, 525 W. Ricketts St.
The gallery – presented by the Kokomo Art Association – runs until October 9 and visiting hours are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday or by special appointment by calling 765-437-2159.
“I think it’s exciting and awesome, and I hope we can get a lot of people to come and watch it and see all that is involved,” Roe said, referring to the artwork. “I am proud to exhibit alongside his work. You can see we have a bit of different styles, but he also picked up some of my influences, which is kind of neat.
Pearce – employed as a tattoo artist at the Bohemian Tattoo Club in downtown Kokomo – agreed with his mother, saying his clients often asked him where he got his artistic vision.
“So now people can come here and see where my influences are coming from,” he said. “And then it’s also good for his (Roe’s) friends to be able to come in and not only see his work, but also see where I took his influence.”
And there’s a bit of it in the gallery for everyone too, the couple said, including everything from oil and acrylic paintings to carved wood sculptures.
“Even though it doesn’t seem like there are a lot of rooms, there are still a lot here,” Pearce said. “There is a lot of variety. There should be something that everyone likes depending on what you like. … So I hope that whoever walks through the door finds something pleasant.
Roe smiled at her son before starting to talk about what she hopes those who visit the gallery will take away.
“I hope they’re amazed,” she said, “amazed that we did these things together. It’s a long-standing bond that we have, and I hope people can benefit from it too. I want them to really take a moment and see what he’s doing and what I’m doing too. This is what I hope people will take away from all of this.
And maybe gallery visitors will leave with the same desire to grab a brush and paint their own masterpieces, the couple noted.
To this, they each offered their own words of encouragement and advice.
“Go out and do it, and try not to care what other people think about it,” Pearce said, looking at the paintings on the walls. “I hope if they don’t like it, they will be nice and move on. But you might find that person who absolutely adores your job, which is almost priceless when you know people love your job so much. … So you might miss out on good compliments if you don’t put yourself forward.
Roe agreed, adding that it’s often the hardest first step to take when it comes to any new business.
“Everyone has a style, and everyone has how far they want to take something, so I guess my advice is to do it,” she said. “Take a pencil or a brush and go out and express yourself. … Just pick something you like and paint what you know. … So this is my best advice. Go ahead and start doing it.