Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


June 6, 2014

It's all about people

Portrait artist new to Pendleton Art Center

ASHLAND — People are the inspiration for Justin Howell’s art work.

The portrait painter, who has a master’s degree in studio art from Morehead State University, said he has a specific procedure for making a portrait.

“I like to meet with the person and talk to them and get to know them a little,” he said. During the initial meeting, Howell said he does a few quick sketches. Later, he gets photos to work from and begins painting.

“I love portrait art because I love meeting people and getting to know their stories and telling their story in a painting that’s going to last hundreds of years,” he said.

He said it takes two to four weeks to finish the oil painting, the medium he first learned to paint in. He credits his interest in art to Carolyn Gibson, his art teacher at Knott County Central High School in Hindman, a community that’s very support of the arts and is home to the Appalachian Artisan Center.

“She really urged everyone to try different techniques and media and to get in shows,” he said. “It was because of her that I decided to pursue art as a career.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree in art, Howell said he immediately began pursuing his master’s degree. Education has been crucial to his development as an artist.

“The professors were fantastic because your friends will tell you your work is great, but professors will give you objective input,” he said, noting their instruction about marketing themselves and their art was very helpful.

Classes included photography and design, which further developed his ability in areas such as composition and structure to his pieces.

As a graduate assistant, he taught art and then, after graduation in 2013, he taught a variety of art classes, including art appreciation and two-d foundations and color foundations.

“Teaching really reinforced my skills,” he said.

After his girlfriend took a job in Ashland as a nurse, he took a studio at the Pendleton Art Center, where he works every day.

He said being a part of the art community in Ashland is proving to be an inspiration.

“I’m happy to be here and I’m looking forward to meeting people during First Friday,” he said, adding he hopes to eventually offer lessons or classes in art at the center.

Carrier will provide must at the Pendleton during the  art walk.

Also during First Friday:

‰The Frame-Up Gallery and Café Zeal, at 1426 Winchester Ave., has the art of Harley Fannin. For more information, call (606) 324-8565 or visit theframeupgallery.com.

‰The Highlands Museum and Discovery Center, at 1620 Winchester Ave., will offer free face painting and games from 4 to 8 p.m. Admission to main floor wil be free and to the Discovery Center will be $3.50. For more information, call (606) 329-8888; email christine@highlandsmuseum.com or visit highlandsmuseum.com.

‰Josh Turner will be in concert at 7:30 p.m. today at the Paramount Arts Center, 1300 Winchester Ave. For more information, visit paramountartscenter.com or call (606) 324-3175. To purchase tickets online, go to Paramountartscenter.com.

‰The Upstairs Gallery, at 1428 Winchester Ave., and the Thoroughbred Gallery, at 1430 Winchester Ave., will be open. For more information, call Barbara at (606) 325-2470 or (304) 633-4401 or visit yessy.com/TUG.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.

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