Artist Statement, Shows & Awards


Don Perley is a self-taught artist whose work is improvisational, layered and complex. Secrets are revealed slowly, both in oil painting and painted relief constructions. His style tends toward the raw and rough, similar to untamed nature seen from a forest trail where the raw and rough, upon close observation are also delicate, soothing and healing. What one sees in Don’s work can be the result of months or years of thinking, revisiting and evolution. Typically, his work has no center point of focus and so pushes the eye from one passage to another on a journey of engaging surprises. The paintings are voyages of insight into the possibilities of color juxtapositions, as well as the physical properties of different types of paints and inks. The painted collage constructions are inquiries into the ways that various raw materials can deform and make their own designs.

Importantly, the artist experiences free improvisation as the unveiling of the mechanics of nature itself, like the gears behind the clock face. Ultimately, what Don creates are arenas and conditions for colors and materials to display their properties freely and combine in unplanned and joyous ways. His intention is not so much “art” as a search for spontaneous life springing out of pure color. This is direct painting, direct expression and direct communication. The artist experiences the act of artistic creation as, above all, devotional.

The artist has won awards in juried competitions on two occasions, and has had four solo gallery shows to date. He can be contacted at


The Ridgefield Guild of Artists 43rd Annual Juried Show - “The Colorworks,” 2020

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SPECTRUM Exhibition, New Canaan Society for the Arts - “Wired,” 2018

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Flinn Gallery Juried Exhibition, Greenwich Art Society - “Forgotten Dreams,” 2016

98th Annual Juried Exhibition, Greenwich Art Society - “Rough Sketch,” 2015

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Don is now published as a featured artist at The NO MIDDLEMAN ART GALLERY,  in conjunction with Edge of Humanity Magazine. 

Don is listed in the curated artist registry of for Connecticut artists.

Don is a member of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County (CAFC).


He has an extensive YouTube March 2021 studio interview on the ups and downs of a life as a self-taught artist, conducted by Liana Voia, the creator of Multiple Arts.


97th Annual Juried Exhibition, Greenwich  Art Society, Dagny Hultgreen Griswold cash award for painting - "Mirage," 2014

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East End Arts Council, Riverhead, NY,

3rd Annual National Juried Art Competition - Best in Show, "Juju," 2014, cash award and artist-in-residence award.

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NO MIDDLEMAN ART GALLERY online show, a project of the Edge of Humanity Magazine, April, 2021

Shahinian Fine Art,

  Rhinebeck, NY, 2014

Shahinian Fine Art,

  Poughkeepsie,  NY, 2004

Schmidt/Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, 1991


East End Arts Winner's Show,

  Riverhead NY, 2015

Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition,
   juried Recycle exhibition, 2015

Peter Marcelle Project,

  Southampton, NY, 2015

The Flow of Art Gallery,

  Norwalk,  CT,  2007 & 2008

Momenta Art, Philadelphia, 1989

The Painted Bride, Philadelphia, 1989

Mangel Gallery, Philadelphia, 1986

Dana Reich Gallery, San Francisco, 1977


The artist will be happy to provide details and additional photos.