Grace Howl Contemporary Art Gallery Opens Friday

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BY PHILIP LEDERER SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING WEDNESDAY NOV 1, 2017

The energy around the growing Rosemary District ticks up a notch this week with the opening of a new gallery from acclaimed local artist Grace Howl. Located off Central Avenue, the gallery also connects to Howl’s studio, allowing for one continual space dedicated to creation—and for her growing clientele to catch a glimpse of the artist at work. “This was a dream,” says Howl, who also lives above the gallery, completing her consolidated artist’s habitat. “I’ve wanted this for years and it finally came together.” The Grace Howl Contemporary Art Studio & Gallery opens this Friday with a reception at 5:30pm.

On a certain level, Howl knew she needed her own gallery as much as wanted one. “We’ve got great galleries and I respect them very much,” says Howl, “but I probably don’t fit the mold.” Part of it comes down to size, and Howl likes to go big, with pieces regularly eclipsing nine feet in one dimension or another. Sharing a gallery with other artists would leave room for only or two of these to show, whereas at her opening reception (including both the studio and gallery) Howl will show at least 30 pieces. Not all will be large-scale, but many will be. Having a dedicated gallery also allows Howl to showcase her varying output, moving deftly from one subject, style or school to the next as the will takes her.

No fear. No rules. Those are the only rules of Howl’s studio, which will also be open to the public this Friday. “I am blessed with so many ideas and so few rules,” she says, “that I will try anything.” Oftentimes she approaches the canvas without a single idea or concept, simply picking a color and beginning the exploration. It’s a “no-thought process,” Howl says, where she can explore other worlds and “something from deep within” flows through her fingers to the canvas. Hours will pass. Howl will not notice. “Sometimes I don’t recollect painting a painting,” she says. “I don’t consciously do it; I just do it.”

But opening her gallery and studio in the Rosemary District most certainly was a conscious decision. A fierce proponent of the area, Howl hopes to see the neighborhood continue its upward trajectory, and that maybe the gallery can help. “I love that the people who live here are all joining together,” she says. “We want it edgy. We want it creative. We want it fun, walkable and a safe place for people to venture.”

Grace Howl Contemporary Art Studio & Gallery opens this Friday at 419 Central Ave., Sarasota, with a reception at 5:30pm.

Pictured: Grace Howl in front of her work, "Untitled." Photo courtesy of Grace Howl.

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