NCArts showcase exhibit features work of Tahiti Pehrson |

NCArts showcase exhibit features work of Tahiti Pehrson

Nancy Nelson
Submitted to The Union

Inspired by listening to astronomy radio, Nevada City artist Tahiti Pehrson has created a new installation of intricate, hand-cut, white-layered paper works that are on view through the windows at the Alpha Building now through Aug. 20.

While Pehrson chose as his title for the work, “Sea of Love” – a song written by Phil Phillips, made famous by The Honeydrippers and more recently by Tom Waits – the installation has a nebulous quality with concentric, spiraling shapes.

Pehrson has been hand cutting paper for decades. He grew up in a family of artists and went on to study painting and printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Eventually he began searching for a more immediate form of artistic expression that would have a widespread audience. Street art fit the bill, and Pehrson’s preferred method of mark making became the stencil.

When asked to exhibit work in a more formal setting, he decided to show stencils before they were used – in their clean, white state. From that moment, Pehrson’s paper cutting has become more and more obsessive and intricate. He makes his patterns using a computer and hand cuts the works using a No. 11 X-Acto blade. Each hole is comprised of several cuts. Thousands and thousands of cuts go into each piece, using hundreds of razor blades, too.

“I believe we always look for the patterns that make up life,” said Pehrson. “We’re rewarded for finding patterns, because that’s predictability and it’s a way of survival. Everyone is constantly searching for the next algorithm, the next pattern. That’s our human quest – to look for something bigger.”

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Nevada County Arts and the Nevada City Film Festival have collaborated to feature visual art during the film festival. Pehrson’s work, as well as art by Matt Gottschalk, Eli Kirshbaum and Eryka Fiedler, will be displayed in the Alpha Building windows.

Other artists and locations include Greg Moore at the Haven Underground, Dave Bowels at Neva Co, and Sarah Coleman and Dylan McConnell will be on display and for sale at Kitkitdizzi in downtown Nevada City.

For details about the film festival schedule, visit and for information about Nevada County Arts visit

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