Cue Perry: “Art is important as air”

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IF YOU WANT to enjoy the art of Quentin “Cue” C.B. Perry, just open your eyes and look around. It’s deservedly pretty much everywhere.

Since majoring in graphic design at University of Pittsburgh in the early 2000s, the 37-year-old Manchester native has sold 5,000+ original paintings worldwide, served as Artist-in-Residence at Pitt’s Center for Urban Education, taught students how to make murals at Carlow University’s Campus Laboratory School and rendered live body painting sessions at Carnegie Science Center.

His work has graced Pittsburgh International Airport, the Pittsburgh Mayor’s Office and City-County Building, BLEND cigar bar, Pittsburgh Chamber Music’s annual brochure, ad campaigns for local businesses including Propel Schools and QuickdripIV.

He’s created signature designs for Knotzland bow ties and Surmesur custom menswear, live-painted at innumerable charity events like the WQED Cardigan Party and Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s Holiday Fundraiser, designed a commemorative Carnegie Library card, invented a Black History Month-themed gelato flavor for Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream (“Blackout Brownie”) with proceeds benefitting the 1Hood Media artists/activists collective.

Perry’s versatility “is a gift and could be a curse,” he jokes. “It helps me think way outside the box. It’s just who I am.”

He’ll be showcasing a lot of fresh on-the-canvas work at the upcoming Infinity exhibition on Saturday, Feb. 4 from 2-6 p.m. at the Ohringer Arts Building, 640 Braddock Ave. in Braddock as part of the Ohringer Art Collective.

An eclectic selection of style

On Feb. 8 he’ll offer a 4-5 p.m. teaching workshop for K-5 children titled Art as Black Resistance with Cue Perry at Carnegie Library-Woods Run, 1201 Woods Run Avenue, Pittsburgh.Perry’s favorite paint medium is acrylic, but he’s been growing into spray work of late. “Over time I have become more confident with exploring various styles and techniques, pushing boundaries, just having more fun with being creative and exploring.”

His art, he notes unapologetically, can be challenging to the viewer … and is intended to be so. “I want my art to speak to the wild, creative open minds who dare to express themselves. Art is meant to be shared and enjoyed. It’s just as important as air to our existence as humans in society.”

Commissioned portraits by Cue Perry

Perry appreciates the collaborative nature of the Pittsburgh art scene, citing his own inspirational contacts with local artists Darrell Kinsel, Baron Batch and the late Natiq Jalil.

“The best encouragement comes from support, the kind of peer-to-peer mentoring anyone can give. We’re all going along a similar journey.”

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Co-painting with Franco Harris at Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank fundraiser, Omni William Penn