The Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Gallery at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus is pleased to showcase the work of Northern Virginia artist Mark Howe. The exhibit Precious Metals: Precious Visions will be on display from June 10 to July 24 with an artist’s reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday June 10.
Howe, initially inspired by his background in architecture and years working on such projects as the Holocaust Museum and the Native American Indian Museum, creates unique gold art panels with depth and surface. His work recalls the meditative paintings of Mark Rothko, the surfaces of early American Abstract artist August Vincent Tack as well as Austrian symbolist Gustav Klimt. Despite the echoes of these artists, his work reflects a unique sensitivity to material and surface.
“Gold is seductive. Its essence and beauty mesmerized me the moment I began working with it 21 years ago,” Howe said. “My desire is to captivate my audience, inspiring them to observe and appreciate gold in a way that leaves them awestruck and truly comprehending the powerful potential and allure of this magnificent metal.”
Howe’s work contains many elements, and he often begins with the careful and intricate layering of gold leaf followed by the introduction of silver leaf along with natural mineral and metallic powders to bring color and action to the image. The layer of gold, in combination with the other elements, produces a feeling of movement back into the past or a projection into the future.
After several years attending the U.S. Naval Academy, Howe enrolled in the College of Architecture at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. It was at Virginia Polytechnic where he began designing restaurants and private residencies. After receiving recognition from the Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond for his work in marquetry, precious metals and gems, Howe began his professional art career while continuing to work for Jefferson Millwork and Design where he was a founding partner and in charge of furniture design and fabrication. Howe is currently working on large scale commissions for private residences as well as commercial buildings.
The Fisher Gallery is located on the second level of the Schlesinger Center. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and during concert hall performances and events.
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.