Peter Clarke


On June 7th, the Center Stage Gallery opened “Past, Pencil, Future,” showcasing the private and professional works of New York Illustrator and Feature Film Animation industry professional Peter Clarke.

Born and raised in New York, Clarke had an early passion for magical creatures and mystical places. His childhood consisted of movies, before returning home to his pencils, paper, and paint.

Clarke continued to pursue fantasy illustration in the midst of the trend of high concept studio and editorial art. He graduated from Parsons School of Design with a BFA in illustration.

After Parsons, Clark’s art was featured on book jackets and fantasy magazine covers before he joined Disney Studios in 1992. He worked on visual development for DinosaurFantasia 2000Brother Bear, and Atlantis, and was the conceptual artist for Treasure Planet.

In 1999, Clarke was hired by Blue Sky Studios as the environmental designer for Ice Age. The following sequels were modeled after his work in Ice Age; he had imagined each of the locations with a sharp, detailed look.

And not just in Ice Age. “Past, Pencil, Future.” The walls have been graced with ghastly creatures, graceful nymphs, modern spins on old myths. Orchestral music provides a mystical backdrop to the paintings, illustrations, sketches, thumbnails. Clarke’s lines are angular, his shapes stark, so that his work stand out against the canvases in a way that is both unrealistically fantastical and undeniably human.

A smiling woman offers you wine.

“The Journey” is a set of twelve paintings depicting a man’s voyage once he has been pulled into a restless sleep. Displayed on a separate wall, its bold colors and faceted look meld into a chaos of splendor.

“This is a sort of face… the idea of night…” Clarke is soft-spoken as he attempts to relate his thought process throughout “The Journey.” His gestures are deliberate as they sweep over his work, his hands motion as if he is communicating with his paintings, trying to coax their meaning out for strangers.

“I never thought I would share this.”

“Past, Pencil, Future” will be showcased at the Center Stage Gallery from June 7th-30th. Clarke’s artwork and book, MYTHOS: A Collection of Fantastical Drawings and Paintings, are available for purchase. Admission is free and open to the public.



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About the Author:

Tricia Lin is a poet, journalist, and author of literary nonfiction. She has been published in From a Window: Affection, The America Library of Poetry, and A Celebration of Poets. When she comes across spare time, she enjoys reading, skiing, and good-natured debate. Tricia is a staff writer at the Washington Square News, and is currently studying at New York University for a degree in Journalism.

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