Pittsburgh Artist Registry

Carlos F. Peterson

Carlos F. Peterson

Artistic Category artist
Career Level Professional
Experienced With

These images are part of a retrospective body of work addressing the loss of place and culture. Inspiration was the failed 1950s urban renewal policy that for the sake of one civic auditorium displaced 8,000 mostly black families from Pittsburgh’s Lower Hill District. Poverty-stricken and unable to move elsewhere my family remained. I was seven-years-old rummaging through vacant buildings not knowing how harmful the experience.

Many years later I struggled to show the emotional impact of that sad chapter in Pittsburgh’s history, until Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD, the renowned Professor of Urban Policy and Health, coined the hurtful experience as “Root Shock,” defining it as a traumatic stress reaction to the destruction of all or part of one’s entire emotional ecosystem. 

 Whether inspired by gentrification, the Middle Passage or current events, my methodology stirs from upheaval. I use a variety of materials, techniques, and styles, but all are part of the narrative. Crowded objects and lopsided buildings are not necessarily a reflection of neighborhoods symbolic of the African American experience. I don’t consider myself an artist as such but reporter validating my cultural heritage.


Prior to starting his own firm, Carlos F. Peterson Technical Art, Mr. Peterson was an architectural draftsman and award-winning illustrator in the steel engineering industry. Now retired, Mr. Peterson is currently writing a memoir addressing his family's experience with urban redevelopment on Pittsburgh's Lower Hill District. Mr. Peterson’s artwork has been exhibited throughout the Pittsburgh area. He has received juror’s awards for his work in numerous local exhibitions and purchase awards for drawing and painting at the Atlanta Life Insurance African American National Art Exhibition in Atlanta Georgia.



Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15202
412 732 9697


  • Drawing
  • Illustration
  • Historic
  • Creative Non-fiction
  • Autobiographical
  • Social Practice / Civic Engagement
  • Photography


  • Assemblage
  • Computer generated
  • Conceptual
  • Black & white
  • Cultural
  • Documentary
  • Pen
  • Biographical
  • Ethnic
  • Figurative
  • Ink
  • Narrative
  • Realist