Patricia Howard: Migrations
November 7, 2013 - February 8, 2013
The first darkroom Patricia Howard knew was her childhood kitchen. She would watch her father, a chemist, put red light bulbs in the kitchen and, using little trays to develop the film they had shot, make postage stamp sized prints. In high school, on a summer arts camp outing to a race track, she photographed the horses, the people watching them, and all the excitement of the races. That summer, she says, “I felt that I had found my medium.” After earning both a B.F.A. and M.F.A. in photography, Howard went on to create a body of work that brings together her love of animals, her interest in people and their stories, and a sensibility that led her fellow students in college to call her “the Magic Realism person”: she wants the viewer to “pick up on something or feel something that I felt at the time, to see if there’s some commonality they can appreciate,” but also to perceive something mysterious, or unexplained, in an otherwise realistic image—like a man with an armful of chickens. Her exhibition at the JCMA will feature individual subjects and also series that Howard has created: Grange Fair Encampment images, and photographs of the eight houses that her mother’s restless father moved his family in and out of, all within the same small Indiana town, during her mother’s childhood there. Mystery, her feelings for her subjects, a history of places, and the beauty of all of these come through Patricia Howard’s photographs, which the JCMA is honored to present. Patricia Howard is an Assistant Professor of Art at Juniata College.