Traditional Colorist

Work of local painter Peg Shearer on display at CDPL gallery


The Mary Bishop Memorial Gallery at the Crawfordsville District Public Library invites the public to view the work of local painter, Peg Shearer.

This exhibit is currently open and will be on display through the end of November. Visitors are welcome in the gallery during the library’s regular hours.

Shearer was born in 1917 as Margaret R. Davis of Chicago. She moved with her family to Montgomery County when she was a child. She graduated from Crawfordsville High School in 1935 and from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois, in 1939. Peg taught for the Jacksonville Public School system for one school year and returned shortly thereafter to marry Dr. Warren Shearer Jr. They moved to Madison, Wisconsin for a short time while Warren worked for the University of Wisconsin over the summer following their honeymoon. They lived in several places over the course of their lives, but Crawfordsville became their permanent home.

She met many people during her travels and this gave her the opportunity to learn from established artists and art organizers in Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Paris, France. She joined The Art League of Montgomery County in 1942, and later served on the executive board as president. She exhibited with the Hoosier Salon Association and studied with well-known artists, including Fritz Schlemmer.

Peg considered herself a traditional colorist more so than a contemporary artist. Categorically, she was an abstract expressionist painter and was active from the 1940’s through the 1980’s. She was heavily influenced by artists like Vincent van Gogh and Willem de Kooning, and was inspired by the natural landscapes found in everyday life as well as the interesting faces she met along the way.

She was an active person who put the needs of her family first and she served her community as a volunteer. She always found time to research unfamiliar art processes, look for the perfect muses, and create intriguing paintings. She has a fascinating history and was highly respected by the people she met. The purpose of this exhibit is to celebrate her and her life’s work as well as give future artists an honorable, local role model.

Peg never wanted her work to collect dust in a closet. She wanted her art to be shared with the communities she loved the most.

“I was extremely impressed by the diversity of painting styles and her interpretation of subject matter,” said gallery coordinator Toni Ridgway-Woodall. “She was able to express a feeling, capture a moment in time, in color and form. I am thankful the gallery has the opportunity to share the work of this amazing local artist with the next generation artists and art lovers.”

For more information about CDPL’s hours of operation, visit online at http://www.cdpl.lib.in.us/.

If you are an artist or a member of an artists’ group and are interested in displaying work at the Mary Bishop Memorial Gallery in 2024-25, contact Ridgway-Woodall at 765-362-2242 or by email at twoodall@cdpl.lib.in.us/.