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Mark H. Cowardin

1788 North 600 Road
Baldwin City, KS 66006, U.S.A.
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Phone: (785)594-8503
Email: shotgunstudios@yahoo.com

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ARTIST'S STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
My works are meditations on isolation and separation. I believe man's concern and respect for life lessens as humankind increasingly moves away from nature. Growing development and technology create barriers between humans and the natural world, and also between humans and other humans. These barriers contribute to a disturbing loss of community, and a loss of respect for the natural world. Through personal experience of living in a soulless, sprawling, housing development as well as helping to construct formulaic new housing, I observed first hand the cell-like living situations which are being created.

Connections are an extremely important aspect of my work. Many of my sculptures are human size containers with no apparent openings to indicate a way in or out. Certain architectural elements and details of my work imply something is being confined, sustained, and/or protected. These elements are objects taken straight from the hardware store, and then placed directly onto the formal, sculptural shell, which I have fabricated by hand. Through the use of these store-bought items, my sculptures become functional objects. This twist on the idea of function is one of the most crucial aspects of my art. By placing functional objects in a position where their original purpose is contradictory, I intend to evoke an awareness in the viewers consciousness about the true relationship of the utilitarian object to it's given situation. The literal connections are objects that I not only find aesthetically pleasing, but are also symbolic of both the necessary relationship between humans and the earth and the lack of respect of the natural environment. All of my works are meant to create a conversation about the delicate relationship between man and nature.

EDUCATION

  • 2001 University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, M.F.A. in sculpture.
  • 1998 University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, B.F.A. in sculpture.

 

EXHIBITIONS (*Solo Shows)

  • 2001 Arizona Biennial '01, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona. Juried.
  • 2001 Transient Realities, M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition. Joseph Gross Gallery, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
  • 2000 Roots: Environmental issues of Interconnectedness, GOCAIA: Gallery of Contemporary and Indigenous Art, Tucson, Arizona.
  • 2000 Living Arrangement, Lionel Rombach Gallery, Tucson, Arizona.
  • 2000 What is Drawing Now?, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah. Juried.
  • 1999 Cowardin/Glaab/Musters Group Show, Central Arts Collective, Tucson, Arizona.
  • 1999 The Collective Comes to Canyon, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona.
  • 1999 Arizona Biennial '99, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona. Juried.
  • 1999 Sunspot Laboratory Show, Cal State LA Fine Arts Gallery, Los Angeles, California.
  • 1999 Central Arts Collective All Members Show, Central Arts Collective, Tucson, Arizona.
  • 1998 *monumental development, Art Affair, Baker University, Baldwin, Kansas.
  • 1998 University of Kansas Fine Art Scholarship Show, Art and Design Gallery, Univ. of Kansas. Juried.
  • 1998 University of Kansas Senior Show, Art and Design Gallery, Univ. of Kansas.
  • 1997 1st Annual Installation Show, Art and Design Gallery, Univ. of Kansas.
  • 1997 University of Kansas Fine Art Scholarship Show, Art and Design Gallery, Univ. of Kansas. Juried.
  • 1997 The home show, Performance by Mark H. Cowardin and Amy L. Schmidt-Cowardin, Baldwin City, Kansas.
  • 1997 The Barn Show, Student exhibition, Lawrence, Kansas. Invitational.

AWARDS AND HONORS

  • 2001 Recipient of International Sculpture Center Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Honorable Mention Award.
  • 2000 Recipient of Graduate Student Final Project Fund Award, Univ. of Arizona.
  • 2000 Recipient of Misto-Ertz Scholarship, Univ. of Arizona.
  • 1999 Recipient of Centennial Sculpture Commission, Univ. of Arizona.
  • 1999 Recipient of Moreton Award, Univ. of Arizona.
  • 1998 Recipient of the Lockwood Scholarship, University of Kansas Fine Art Scholarship Show, Univ. of Kansas.
  • 1998 Recipient of the Hollander Family Foundation Award, University of Kansas Fine Art Scholarship Show, Univ. of Kansas.
  • 1997 Recipient of the Lockwood Scholarship, University of Kansas Fine Art Scholarship Show, Univ. of Kansas.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • Present Adjunct Assistant Professor, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas.
  • 1999-2001 Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Art, University of Arizona, Teaching Three Dimensional Design and Beginning Sculpture.
  • 1998 Sculpture Area Technician, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.