As a master of color pencil, Gene has beautifully captured representations of spiritual and family themes with a particular emphasis on African-American life and culture. Gene’s love of culture and history shows in the sum of his intricate pencil strokes. He enjoys studying people and capturing them in social positions, and he strives to show how a subject feels as well as what they are doing.
Since his early days growing up in Butler and Brunswick, Georgia, Gene has always had an interest in the arts and has childhood memories of sitting by his seamstress mother with pencil and paper in hand, sketching while she worked. He was especially drawn to forms of printmaking and made that his study for his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Valdosta State College. Gene had dreams of pursuing his Master of Fine Arts Degree, but chose to stay in Brunswick due to the illness of his mother, subsequently taking a job in banking.
Most people would talk about kidney failure and rigorous dialysis as misfortune, but Gene refers to it as his inspiration. “I went to dialysis three times a week for four hours a day. While undergoing treatment, I remembered taking a color pencil class in college. I would sit and draw during treatments,” Threats recalled. His enthusiasm for sitting and drawing was rekindled. In 2000, Gene had a kidney transplant.
Gene has since taught Art at Coastal College of Georgia in Brunswick, and won several awards for his art. His color pencil works can be seen in private collections as far away as Paris, France, and have been exhibited in galleries around the region.
The artist credits his mother, Minnie Pearl Threats, for encouraging him in his art, and several of the works on display at The Old Jail Art Center pay homage to her. The exhibit will be on display through September 29th.