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Good Intentions: Tes One Retrospective

September 10 - October 25
Opening Reception Saturday, September 10th, 5pm to 8pm

This fall a local artist is taking the reins and paving a new path at the Morean. Known for his signature blend of traditional art and graphic design, Tes One (Leon Bedore), confronts contrast in all forms; splicing divisions and redefining the balance. GOOD INTENTIONS: A RETROSPECTIVE OF CATCHIN’ WRECK BY TES ONE will feature the evolution of an artist, each chapter more impressive than the last featuring works inspired by sound, community service, collaboration, and natural instincts.

Since the early 90s, Tes One has been inspired by the intersection of hip-hop, graffiti art and graphic design. During this era, the former vandal developed his own form of ill communication. Much like the remix of a song, iterations of paint and design loop to a unified rhythm. Contrast is both the medium and the message, with color and cause running full bleed.

Long before St. Petersburg became known for its vibrant public art, Tes was determined to provide proof of concept. In 1994 while a student at Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School, he was awarded his first “legal” mural commission, with the purpose of showcasing art rather than advertising. The resulting work began a unique career of creativity. Vivid paintings, murals and exhibitions, alongside art direction for global brands and causes. Social issues, education and awareness are also reoccurring themes throughout the work, with pieces recently acquired by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Library of Congress.

GOOD INTENTIONS showcases more than one-hundred works spanning three decades, from early stencils and outlines, to paintings, design, sculptures, and mural collaborations with Up&Over. The collection will also feature new works and print editions made exclusively for the exhibition.

Since 2012, the Morean Arts Center has given mural artists a platform to showcase their talent each year, featuring art that blurs the line between the street and the gallery, and whose practice incorporates elements of graffiti art, illustration, and graphic design. Tes One curated and launched this focus for the Morean Arts Center in that same year with Leave a Message, an unfiltered and celebrated show.

GOOD INTENTIONS overlaps with the upcoming SHINE Mural Festival, created in 2015 and led by none other than Tes One. Tes was instrumental in the development of the annual SHINE Mural Festival, introducing the entire city of St. Petersburg to the power of public art. The festival is now in its 8th year, fostering many local art careers and home to one of the most revered mural collections in the world.