"Artificial Reef" by Anne Bowen

Anne Bowen

Our Environment

I am inspired by nature: its beauty and complexity.  Our Tampa Bay Florida community is part of the vast global ecosystem that all humans are very much a part of and depend on for their well-being and existence. In my work I focus on environmental issues that are being currently discussed and encourage people to use their imaginations to find creative solutions to the serious problems we face today. Some of the main causes of harm to our environment are agricultural fertilizers, chemicals used for insecticides, and fossil fuels for energy. Some solutions that can be acted on are: controlled and/or organic fertilizing in farming and gardening, widespread use of solar, wind, thermal and hydro sources of energy and not using insecticides that deplete important insect populations such as bees.

In my current work I try to channel my concern about the environment in a visually arresting manner that hopefully captures one’s attention and makes one think about the specific issues I am addressing in each piece of my work. I love the medium of pen and ink, and the art elements of pattern and color. I use mixed media (pen and ink, colored pencils, and paint) on paper to tell the stories about many of the difficulties that are affecting our environment and specific species.

The myriad plants and animals that exist all around us fascinate me. Living creatures are created and adorned by nature, in the most imaginative, sometimes wild, and always aesthetically satisfying manner.  This inspires me visually as an artist. Design in nature seems to be perfect because it is always adapting and changing!  We have to adapt and change in order to sustain our planet as a safe home for humans and other species; this is one of the greatest lessons I have learned from observing nature.

I use symmetry in my work because it echoes the symmetry found in nature. Much of my new work is frameless because I also like the unpredictability it brings to the shape of a piece and because unpredictability is a part of life and nature. Many of the processes of creation in our physical environment: layering, repetition, eruptions, movement of water, rocks, and soils underlie and generate the forms of our landscapes and the animals that inhabit them. Flora and fauna defy our imagining’s with all the forms and colors they come in. Everything we see in our world is a continuous visual learning experience for me. I am intrigued by how living creatures come together in groups, swarms, flocks, schools, packs, herds and believe it or not a group of Zebras are called a dazzle! This mysterious coming together of all creatures is reflected in my pieces “Monarch Butterflies” and “Bees”.

People live together in family groups, tribes, villages, towns, and cities: they do this for their protection. This is fundamental for all living things. We have to accept that for our own protection, in order to stop all the environmental pollution on our planet, we must work together to find the most intelligent, fair, rational and sustainable way to live. Only this kind of commitment will give us a long-term future on Earth, our only home.

 – Anne Bowen

 

Education

  • BA in Art.  The City College of the City University of New York.
  • MFA in Painting and Photography. Pratt Institute, New York.
  • Florida Certification in Art: grades K-12, #376067.
  • Florida Certification in Social Studies: grades 6-12, # 376067.

Scholarships and Grants

MFA degree: scholarship and assistant-ship, Pratt Institute. William and Amy C. Koe Scholarship: grant for travel to study art and culture in Africa. Creative Teaching Grant: Pasco County Educational Foundation 2004 and 2005, Pasco Educational Grant for Teachers 2007 and 2008.

Teaching

I have taught and created art for most of my adult life and I have been privileged to teach art from pre-kindergarten to the university level. Teaching art and social studies has exposed me to many different mediums for art expression, the vast panorama of global art traditions and the history of cultures around the world. I have come to learn and really believe that we are not just citizens of one nation state.  We are all CITIZENS OF THE EARTH imbued with extraordinary abilities and creativity who should work together to build an environmentally safe and socially just world. Children figure this out in Kindergarten!

Travel

Travel has exposed me to the art and social conditions of many countries that have influenced my work.  I have traveled throughout much of the United States, Canada, the Caribbean (lived in Puerto Rico for 2 years), Central America and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia (two, 6 week study tours in India) and the Middle East (lived in Saudi Arabia for 4 years).

My Work

My work is infused with a love of pattern and design and I like to tell a story, so much of my work has a strong underlying narrative about art traditions and/or social and environmental issues.

Exhibitions

I have been in over 51 group and solo exhibitions in Florida, New York and Saudi Arabia. I have done large-scale murals on buildings in Egypt and Puerto Rico. Additionally I have curated 5 exhibitions and had over 15 pieces of my artwork and graphic design published.

Work in Private and Public Collections

Over 37 pieces of my art are in private and public collections.