The Art Center Gallery at Clatsop Community College (CCC) will open its 2011-2012 exhibition season featuring a series of paintings entitled “Womanizing Eve” by artist Keith Howard of Rochester, New York.

In addition to work from this series, Mr. Howard will exhibit other prints along with those of his wife Bernice Cross. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, October 6th at 6:00 p.m. in the campus Art Center Gallery, and work will remain on display through October 27th. The gallery reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. Selected to exhibit in the 2011 international juried exhibit Au Naturel by Jane Beebe, director of PDX Contemporary Art in Portland, OR, Mr. Howard was also offered the coveted prize of a solo exhibition at the Art Center Gallery.

Originally from Australia, Keith Howard graduated from Art School in Sydney and taught printmaking from 1975-1981 at the Queensland College of Art in Brisbane, Australia. Relocating to Canada to teach at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary, Alberta, Mr. Howard then completed his Masters in Studio Art through New York University’s Venice Program in 1984. Mr. Howard was immediately offered a job as Professor in Drawing and Printmaking at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, and then in 1986 he was offered a teaching position through Grande Prairie Regional College in Peace River, Alberta, Canada to run their off-campus visual arts program. In 1996, he founded the Canadian School for Non-Toxic Printmaking through his college. From 1999 until the present, Mr. Howard has served as Head of the Non-Toxic Printmaking Program at the Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate New York.

For the past 20 years, Mr. Howard has been at the forefront of Non-Toxic Printmaking research and teaching, and is considered the leading authority in this field. In the last decade, he has delivered over 100 workshops and seminars on his non-toxic intaglio printmaking innovations all across the country and around the world. He has written three groundbreaking books on Non-Toxic Contemporary Printmaking that have been sold in over 50 countries: The Contemporary Printmaker: Intaglio-Type and Acrylic Resist Etching, Non-Toxic Intaglio Printmaking, and Safe Photo Etching for Photographers and Artists.

Mr. Howard is now venturing into the realm of painting, establishing what he describes as “a unique global artisan workshop” in which he collaborates with Master Painter Xiaming Lin in China to create an extensive series of over one hundred freehand-painted oil paintings exploring the concept “Womanizing Eve: Feminization of an Archetype.” Mr. Howard also works closely with a professional art school model, Michelle Long, to create the Eve narrative and then makes a 24” x 96” digital panoramic image using Adobe Photoshop. After many hours of image manipulation, the panoramic images are transmitted electronically to Master Painter Lin in China, who makes a faithful oil painting copy of Mr. Howard's image. Master Lin works strictly in the Renaissance oil painting tradition, first working from pencil sketches, then to oil paint washes and finishing with multiple layers of oil paint until the painting is complete. The paintings take several weeks to complete depending on the level of complexity.

Although there is a reference to the biblical theme of Eve in the Garden, it is allegorical in nature. The nude figure of Eve is contemporary in its positioning and expression, representing Eve as a flesh and blood woman with a range of complex emotions. Images within the large format panoramic picture plane warp and twist, creating a new type of perspective described by R.I.T. Professor Alan Singer as “Pendulum Perspective.” While these paintings have been compared to the Pre-Raphaelites because of the attention to detail, Mr. Howard explains that his work does not share Pre-Raphaelite ideology: “While the Pre-Raphaelite movement was a direct reaction to the unstoppable onslaught of modernism, my work represents a new painting ideology that employs a new collaborative paradigm while presenting a unique visual perspective. It presents the subject of the female nude in a dignifying and empowering manner.....not the typical Renaissance depiction of Eve.”

Kristin Shauck
CCC Art Center Gallery

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