Artist Statement

Multiple layers of oil paint intertwine with graphite illustration to create paintings of people, places, and things.  These “slices of life,” or “narrative” paintings house social commentary.  They foster emotional exploration as well as model lighthearted instances for others to consider.  Thank you to the talented Caitlin Penna for the to-the-point vid:


Les Caison III is an award-winning artist from North Carolina.  A diverse upbringing and public education complete with critical accomplishments in music and visual art inform his creativity.  Les paints and illustrates, often intertwining the two, creating scenes of life every-day with a bit of expressive realism.  His mixed media paintings are inviting stories for all.  They offer something for the viewer to think about for a while.  Southern charm mixes well with the lightning, illuminating a one-of-kind with discerning accomplishments.

Les’ accolades include two North Carolina Arts Council recognized regional artist grants and multiple awards for individual artworks.  His creative can-do is multifaceted, deft, and diverse — often with community in mind.  He receives numerous invitations to not only create, but also exhibit, consult, judge, and mentor.  His patrons and exhibitions span many states.  He is collected internationally and has well over 150 exhibitions under his belt.  — something like 20 solo exhibitions.

Les is from Greensboro, NC and graduated with honors from Appalachian State University, earning a BFA in Studio Art.


“Possessing his own post-impressionistic flavor, Caison’s paintings are alive with dancing, vibrant color and rhythmic, expressive lines.”  Kat Lamp, GoTriad


“. . . there’s Les Caison III’s art which is more like a visual metaphor for spending an entire weekend making out with people at a jazz club, carefully balancing an intake of ecstasy and Adderall while thumbing through poetry collections and Frank Miller comics.”  Steve Shanafelt, Mountain Xpress


“Les Caison III is one of North Carolina’s young Renaissance artists.  He is a painter who knows how to draw and sketch; a collagist; he creates large-scale public murals; makes movie posters; donates his artwork to support non-profit organizations; teaches art classes; gives art talks; is always asking a million art-related questions; and somehow still finds time to hop-scotch the state promoting the work of other artists.  Obviously he loves to dance.”  Mary Anne Redding, Curator, Turchin Center for the Visual Arts


“Using oil paint and pencil [Caison’s artwork] will keep your attention for more than a few minutes.  Not only will you look high and low, searching for surprising signs of life around the painting, the more you look at it, the more you will look into it.” — Brian Crean,  Yes! Weekly