Public Info

Photos by Richard Lear of Plainfield on Exhibit at Pearl Street Gallery in Elizabeth

ELIZABETH, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to present an exhibit of photographs by Richard Lear of Plainfield in the gallery space at the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, located at 633 Pearl Street in Elizabeth. A selection of his work entitled “Just Flowers” is on display at the Pearl Street Gallery until June 13. Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

“We are pleased to have Mr. Lear’s beautiful photos on display,” said Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski, liaison to the Union County Cultural and Heritage Programs Advisory Board. “The exhibit demonstrates his mastery of close-up floral photography.”

Richard Lear’s interest in all things creative has led him on a varied career path. After earning a BFA in vocal performance from the University of Arkansas, he was an actor in musical theater and plays in New York and was a finalist twice in Metropolitan Opera auditions. But he was forced to vacate his apartment after the World Trade Center disaster in 2001 and that made him realize that life was too precious to waste even one minute.

Mr. Lear moved to New Jersey and got his SCUBA certification. Turning his passion for diving into an annual trip to destinations all over the globe has allowed him to pursue his interest in photography and brought him back to acting. When Verizon FIOS saw his photographic work they hired him for a commercial and print ad incorporating many of his flower images.

Richard Lear’s recent solo exhibits include: (2013) “Just Flowers,” River Vale Country Club, River Vale, NJ; “The Flowers of Peony’s Envy,” Peony’s Envy, Bernardsville; and (2012) “Objects of Desire/Flowers of the World,” Drake House Museum, Plainfield. To see his images, visit

“Growing up in the Ozark National Forest made me aware of the beauty that surrounds us all on a daily basis,” Lear said.  “I’ve found beauty as well as abstraction from New Jersey to Fiji. The flower is one of nature’s most perfect and unique gifts and it makes the ideal subject.”

Union County artists (whose works can be hung on a wall) interested in exhibiting in the gallery are welcome to apply. For more information about the Pearl Street Gallery or other programs, contact the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, 633 Pearl St., Elizabeth, NJ 07202. Telephone 908-558-2550. NJ Relay users can dial 711. E-mail to:


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