Renowned Expressionist painter Mike Howard will discuss his work featured in the exhibit “Mike Howard: Pivotal Moments in Alabama History” during a reception and artist talk at Troy University’s International Arts Center from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13.
The exhibit, which will run through Oct. 20, features large-scale canvas scenes composed of fast brush strokes and dripping paint of three key events in the state’s history – marchers crossing Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, Rosa Parks seated on a Montgomery city bus and the assassination of Alabama Attorney General Albert Patterson in Phenix City.
The exhibit is endorsed and supported by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and is free and open to the public.
Born in 1944, Howard grew up in Phenix City and witnessed some of the most influential moments over the courses of the Civil Rights era during the 1950s and 1960s.
“Mike Howard’s Phenix City series, Rosa Parks and Selma artworks serve as a reminder of pivotal moments that have helped us develop as a state and a country. They are reminders of how those lessons are still relevant in today’s social climate,” said Carrie Jaxon, curator of TROY’s International Arts Center.
After serving as a machine gunner in the U.S. Marine Corps, Howard attended the University of Georgia from 1968 to 1971. During his studies he was accepted into the coveted Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in New York City. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Art from Columbus College in 1972 and received his Master of Fine Arts from New York’s Rutgers University in 1974.
Howard’s works have been exhibited throughout the United States, from Hurtsboro, Alabama to New York City. Notable exhibitions include P.S. 1 in Brooklyn, the High Museum in Atlanta and Jason Rubell Gallery in Miami, where a large portion of his collection resides permanently with the Rubell family. He has been reviewed in “The New York Times,” “New York Times Magazine,” “New Yorker” and “Artforum.”
He splits his time among Brooklyn, New York, Hurtsboro, Ala. and Columbus, Ga.
Located on the University’s Troy Campus, the International Arts Center seeks to promote artistic enlightenment, cultural exchange and personal well-being for the Troy University community and beyond through University initiatives and collaborative partnerships, both local and international.