Name: Nick Howard
City/State: Minneapolis, MN
MNartist.org profile: http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=48220
Bio- Nick Howard grew up in St. Louis Park, MN and went to St. John’s University where he received a BA in studio art. Nick has been showing his drawings for the past six years locally and received a MN state arts board grant in 2009. He has also shown work at the Design Shop in Athens Greece, Grandview University in Des Moines, Iowa, and the State Street Gallery in Madison, WI.
Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
At the moment I am making work for my upcoming solo show at Rosalux Gallery (http://rosaluxgallery.com/) in October. This new body of work features drawings of large armies of masked figures that are gathered in loose formation as well as some abstracted figures, which look like structures or mountains. In some drawings the armies surround or emerge from the mountainous figures and in others the mountainous figures appears to emerge quietly from the background The new work seems to take a step back to look at patterns and how things proliferate and the sometimes obvious and sometimes subtle nature of these patterns. I have found these drawings feel quieter and maybe at times more ominous then my previous work. They also seem to have less of a narrative feel than my older work, which typically revolved around a few reoccurring toothy multiple mouthed characters. .
"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
My art has always had a very psychological bend to it. I have had a very strong interest in studying how the mind works in order to understand why world is the way it is. I have drawn as much from reading books about the brain to observation of my own behavior and experience. I used to really want to make conclusions about the way things are in hopes it would help change them but now I feel more interested in just observing and the art is a product of this observation. Therefore, I don’t have a directed statement and leave conclusions pretty open for the audience and myself.
"Formation of Masked Figures
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?I was told that a career has many ups and downs and to be patient and persistent with the low times and ride the swell of the up times. I was also told to take a day off and relax now and then.
Tell me about your workspace and your creative process.
I work in a shared studio space that is within walking distance from my apartment in Northeast Minneapolis. It is really great to be close to my studio because the sometimes labor intensive nature of my work means I spend a good deal of time there. I usually start a handful of drawing at once but then really focus on one or two until they are finished. Overall I find that my process is very finicky and changes a lot depending on where I’m at, so really the biggest part of my process is just showing up and trying to do what feels right. This is especially true with the work I am making now because the concepts are fairly simple, pattern and proliferation. I am learning to let the drawings develop very naturally and play off one another.
”Masked Group with Structure”
Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
There are so many great artists in this state it would be a long list if I mentioned all of them so here are a few people’s work I really like and follow.
Joel Starkey http://www.flickr.com/photos/30693446@N04/
Anna Tsantir http://www.annatsantir.com/annatsantir/
Dan Luedtke http://danimaldanimal.blogspot.com/
Aaron Dysart http://www.aarondysart.com/index.htm
If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
I actually make the MIA a pretty regular stop. I like to see what is going on in the MAEP gallery. While there we would look at the Dutch paintings, Christian icons and the Japanese Buddhist sculptures and prints. I usually don’t have the time to do this but we’d hit the road and head out to Franconia. I also always enjoy seeing what is going on at Soo Vac.
Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
There are a few places I stop by on the internet:
Fecal Face (http://www.fecalface.com/SF/),
My Love for you is a Stampede of Horses (http://myloveforyou.typepad.com/),
The Drawing Center (http://www.drawingcenter.org/),
and sometimes I watch the Art 21 videos on PBS’s website (http://www.pbs.org/art21/).
Most of the best stuff I find out about is from word of mouth recommendation though.
Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
Yes, I am working on my first solo show called “Profusion/Glimmer” which will be at Roslaux’s (http://rosaluxgallery.com/) new location in October.
I am also looking forward to showing at Barbette this fall with another one of my favorite local artists Terrence Payne (http://www.terrencepayne.com/index.html).