The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts welcomes Kelly Howard to the Newport Visual Arts Center for her exhibition, “Falling on Center,” from March 2 to April 28 in the Coastal Oregon Visual Artist Showcase (COVAS). Howard will present blown glass works created in her studio on Highway 101 in Lincoln City. The COVAS Showcase features mid-career artists living on the Oregon coast, rotating throughout the seven coastal counties, and Kelly Howard will be representing Lincoln County. A short artist video accompanies each COVAS exhibition. A public reception for “Falling on Center” will be held during the VAC’s First Friday opening events on April 6, 5-7pm, with an artist talk at 6:15pm.
Kelly Howard was born in St. Charles, Illinois, and received her BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago with a focus on sculpture in 2007. Here she also focused on painting, metal-casting, fibre art, along with some glass making. After earning her degree, Howard traveled throughout Europe and Australia, living and studying art abroad. Once settled in the Pacific Northwest, Howard continued her glass–making practice through classes and workshops at the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington, the Oxbow in Michigan, Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, the Corning Studio in New York, and the Eugene Glass School in Oregon.
Kelly Howard is also the co-owner and manager of the Lincoln City Glass Center in the Taft neighborhood of Lincoln City. The center is a popular destination for tourists and locals like; people come to get their first experiences blowing glass and making floats. The center and the nearby Volta Gallery, also owned by Howard and her team, play a significant role in establishing glass work as a defining art focus for the area.
“Around our 10-year anniversary in 2017, we passed the 50,000 mark in total customers,” Howard says. “People from all over the world have visited us and blown glass.”
Kelly Howard’s artworks are created through a “furnaced, soft glass” process, not a torch-blown process. She works primarily with soda lime glass in an “off-hand” method, creating rich colors by combining metals manufactured in Germany and unique textures and patterns by adding powdered glass.
Kelly Howard is well known for her unusual use of layering and her ability to work with the chemical reactions caused by the metals used in the glass color. “My work in glass is about texture, color and form,” she says. “In the last few years, my work has developed in direction that is much more painterly and experimental.”
Kelly Howard’s exhibit in the COVAS Showcase will include glass floats, large vases and fish works.
Kelly Howard’s glass work is also available through the Lincoln City Glass Center/Jennifer Sears Glass Art Center and Volta gallery (Lincoln City), RowBoat (Pacific City), Dragon Fire (Cannon Beach), Art Elements (Newberg) and Gump’s (San Francisco).
The COVAS Showcase is open Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 4pm.
Photo credit: JAKS photography studio