By Joseph Pratt
Ohio University Southern Campus displays a series of exhibitions throughout the school year, from August to April. The galleries feature solo artist works to juried exhibitions.
The current display is the mixed media artist Vernon Howell. Howell’s exhibit was opened on Aug. 1, with an artist reception held in the evening. The event had a successful opening, as guests met with the artist and discussed his work, his process, and his roots. The show will be on display until the end of the month.
Howell was chosen because of his roots in the regional art scene, both as an educator and as an artist. The artist taught for many years at Barboursville High School, before leaving his position to dedicate his life to his art. He specializes in many mediums of art and this gallery emphasizes this, with pieces ranging from paintings and drawings to woodworking sculptures.
“His work is a combination of drawing and painting, collage and transfer, canvas painting, and three-dimensional pieces through his woodworking,” Dennis Stewart, Ohio University Southern Campus gallery coordinator, said. “I’d say his unique take on perspective is what defines him as an artist. If you have a chance to look at his work, most are, oftentimes, objects or windows that are, literally, images he has cut with an X-ACTO knife and layered to provide depth. As I tell my students, with works like this, you are almost looking through a series of windows.”
Stewart went on to admire his craftsmanship, saying that every piece he finishes bares his heart and soul through hours of focus.
There are roughly 20-25 pieces in the show that best describe the work Howell is know for.
“I chose him, in part, because of his stature in the region,” Stewart said. “Also, I chose him as a teaching opportunity with my students, because the depth in his work is astonishing.”
Stewart said that he is happy to open a season of exhibitions with Howell, because he embodies everything the department wants to highlight through their mission.
“We want to bring engaging and educational exhibits to our students and community,” Stewart explained.
The Howell exhibition will run until Sept. 24. The next exhibition will take over on Oct. 1, with works by Melissa B. McCloud. An opening reception will be held for McCloud on Oct. 1 at 5 p.m.
The Ohio University Southern Campus features artwork in the Dingus Technology Center in room D111 at 1804 Liberty Ave., Ironton, Ohio. The Dingus Technology Center welcomes guests to view the artwork from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03
A work completed by Howell