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 Mark McDowell  (1954 - )

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Lived/Active: Arizona/New Mexico      Known for: still life painting

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Ad Code: 3
Mark McDowell
31 Days, Enchantment Lilies
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Tucson Museum of Art:
Mark McDowell (b. February 10,1954, Clearfield, Pennsylvania-)

Mark McDowell creates vibrantly colored still-life paintings that, through the use of puns and metaphor, construct a narrative social commentary.  McDowell has often depicted objects taken from contemporary culture, often focusing on themes related to sideshows and the circus big top.

In 1993 McDowell attended his first performance of Circus Flora, a one-ring circus troupe from St. Louis.  Years later, after developing a close friendship with its ringmaster and founder, the artist was recruited as a prop consultant and fabricator for Circus Flora’s life-sized interpretation of Cirque Calder, Alexander Calder’s multi-faceted miniature circus made from wire and found objects.  (Debra Hopkins, Curator, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art)

McDowell received a BFA from Pennsylvania State University in 1976, moving to Arizona soon after.  Over the last twenty-seven years Mc Dowell has had over twenty five solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the United States.  His works have been commissioned by McDonald’s International, Absolut Vodka, Harkins Theatres, Circus Flora, and many other corporations and private collectors. 

Receiving awards from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Museum of Fine Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1998 he was named Artist of the Year by the Scottsdale Cultural Council.  In the fall of 2001 the Midwest Museum of American Art in Indiana organized a twenty-year retrospective of McDowell’s work.  Recently, the artist has been working with pencil on wood and recently published a book of his drawings.

Selected Solo Exhibitions:
2004  Mark McDowell: Paintings, Drawings, and Prints, Northern Trust Bank, Scottsdale, AZ
2003  Mark McDowell: New Works, 11x14, Tempe, AZ
2002  Mark McDowell: Recent Work, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ
2002  Mark McDowell: Drawings on Wood, 11x14, Tempe, AZ
2002  Mark McDowell: A Busy Life in this Western Landscape; West Valley Art Museum, Surprise, AZ
2001  Mark McDowell: The American Dream -- From the Tom and Mary Jane McClain Collection, Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart, IN
2001  Mark McDowell: A Busy Life in this Western Landscape; Chiaroscuro Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
1999  Mark McDowell: Graphics Exhibition, Cultural Exchange, Scottsdale, AZ
1998  Mark McDowell: Sideshow & The Big Top; Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Scottsdale, AZ
1998  Mark McDowell: Nuts & Bolts; The Cultural Exchange, Scottsdale, AZ
1998  Mark McDowell: Eclectic Visions; Museum of the Southwest, Midland, TX
1997  Mark McDowell: New Work; Bentley Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
1995  Mark McDowell: New Work; Bentley Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
1993  Mark McDowell: New Work; Elaine Horwitch Galleries, Santa Fe, NM
1991  Mark McDowell: New Work; Elaine Horwitch Galleries, Santa Fe, NM
1990  Mark McDowell: New Work; Marilyn Butler Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ
1988  Mark McDowell: A Gallery; Palm Desert, CA
1988  Mark McDowell: Visual Puns; Santa Fe East, Santa Fe, NM
1988  Mark McDowell: Works on Paper & Woodworks; Udinotti Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1988  Mark McDowell: New Work; Marilyn Butler Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ
1987  Mark McDowell: Collaborations with Raul & Paul; Eva Cohen Gallery, Highland Park, IL
1986  Mark McDowell: Places to Sit, Things to Think About; Marilyn Butler Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ
1985  Mark McDowell: Paintings, Prints, Constructions; Tucson Art Institute, Tucson, AZ
1985  Mark McDowell: The Painter's Paintings; Artwest, Jackson Hole, WY
1985  Mark McDowell: Major-Minor Works; Marilyn Butler Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ
1983  New Works At Route 66; Route 66, Philadelphia, PA
1982  Mark McDowell: Paintings & The Printed Image; Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX
1982  Mark McDowell: Paintings for the New Age and New Romance; Marilyn Butler Fine Art, Scottsdale
1981  Mark McDowell at Route 66; Route 66, Philadelphia, PA
1981  Mark McDowell; Marilyn Butler Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ
1980  Mark McDowell: Works on Paper; Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Scottsdale, AZ

Group Exhibitions:
Since 1976, Mark McDowell has been included in numerous selected group exhibitions in museums, art centers, and galleries across the United States and Europe.

Special Projects & Awards:
2003  Fish Stories & Couch Tales, by Mark McDowell. Cattle Track Press
2002  Mark McDowell: Drawings on Wood, Cattle Track Press
2002  The Prince and the Golden Pies, by Mark McDowell. Tiny Fairy Tales Vol. 1, Cattle Track Press
2001  Commission: Createx ad campaign for Juxtapoz magazine, posters; Createx Colors, East Granby, CT
2001  CD Cover Art; Wise Monkey Orchestra: In the Blink of an Eye; Primary Records
2000  Designer/Consultant; Circus Flora, St. Louis, MO & Tempe, AZ
2000  Guest Lecturer; Shemer Art Center, Phoenix, AZ
2000  Commission: Rocket Ship & Planets, Large scale (33' x 50') bas-relief sculpture; Harkins Theatres, Mesa, AZ
1999  Designer/Consultant; Circus Flora, St. Louis, MO
1999  Guest Artist; Workshop Series, Cultural Connections, Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Scottsdale, AZ
1999  CD Cover Art; Wise Monkey Orchestra: Pathways; Primary Records
1998  Designer/Consultant; Circus Flora, St. Louis, MO
1998  Guest Artist; Workshop Series, Cultural Connections, Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Scottsdale, AZ
1998  Visiting Artist; Scottsdale Artists School, Scottsdale, AZ
1998  CD Cover Art; Wise Monkey Orchestra: Make Believe; Primary Records
1998  Guest Lecturer; Museum of the Southwest, Midland, TX
1998  Judge; Scottsdale Arts Festival, Scottsdale, AZ
1998  Artist of the Year; Scottsdale Cultural Council, Scottsdale, AZ
1997  Guest Artist; Free Arts Mural, 4 ft. X 270 ft., Prismagraphics, Phoenix, AZ
1997  Visiting Artist; Scottsdale Artists School, Scottsdale, AZ
1997  Commission: 42-ft. large-scale sculpture in fabricated aluminum & electronics; Insight Computers Direct, Tempe, AZ
1997  CD Cover Art; Wise Monkey Orchestra: It's Alive; Primary Records
1997  Guest Artist; Midwestern State University (produced suite of etchings under Richard M. Ash) Wichita Falls, TX
1996  Visiting Artist; Scottsdale Artists School, Scottsdale, AZ
1996  Guest Artist; Very Special Arts Festival VI, Beaumont State Center, Beaumont, TX
1996  Board Member; City of Scottsdale Public Art Selection Panel, Scottsdale, AZ; (since 1991)
1995  Commission: 2nd Series of Paintings for McDonald's Corp of Tel Aviv; Tel Aviv, Israel
1995  Commission: 3rd Series of Paintings for McDonald's Corp of Tel Aviv; Tel Aviv, Israel
1995  Guest Co-Curator: Painter, Patron, & Women of the West; selections from the Santa Fe Railroad Collection, Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Scottsdale, AZ
1995  Guest Artist; Very Special Arts Festival V, Beaumont State Center, Beaumont, TX
1995  CD Cover Art; Wise Monkey Orchestra: Robot Reality; Primary Records
1994  Guest Artist; Very Special Arts Festival IV, Beaumont State Center, Beaumont, TX
1994  Commission: 16,000 lb. sculpture in cast iron; Golden Bison Committee, Clearfield, PA
1993  Commission: Series of paintings for McDonald's Corp of Tel Aviv; Tel Aviv, Israel
1993  Guest Lecturer; Nelson Fine Art Center, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
1993  Guest Artist; Very Special Arts Festival III, Beaumont State Center, Beaumont, TX
1992  Guest Artist; Midwestern State University (produced suite of etchings under Richard M. Ash), Wichita Falls, TX
1992  Product Design for New Product Packaging; Warning Communications, Tempe, AZ
1992  Product Design; Tempe Fine Arts Center, Tempe, AZ
1991  Commission: Absolut Statehood Campaign for USA Today; Absolut Vodka, Carillon Importers, Teaneck, New Jersey
1991  Guest Artist; Very Special Arts Festival, Beaumont State Center, Beaumont, TX
1990  Award of Merit; Museum of Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM
1990  Juror; Inner Meanings, Galerie Mesa, Mesa, AZ
1990  Keynote Address; Success in Art Symposium, Phoenix, AZ
1989  Guest Lecturer; Creighton School, Phoenix, AZ
1988  Juror; Boys & Girls Club Annual Art Expo, Phoenix, AZ
1986  Guest Lecturer; Arizona Arts Guild, Phoenix, AZ
1986  Guest Lecturer; University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV
1984  Guest Lecturer; Tucson Art Institute, Tucson, AZ
1984  Guest Lecturer; Men's Art Council, Phoenix, AZ
1984  Guest Lecturer; Jim Dine Exhibition, Phoenix, Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
1984  Member; Selections Panel for Traveling Exhibitions Program, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Phoenix, AZ
1983  Award: Fellowship in Printmaking from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Phoenix, AZ
1983  Produced monotype presented to Philip C. Curtis at The Governor's Annual Awards in the Arts, Phoenix, AZ
1982  Guest Artist; Tamarind Institute (produced suite of lithographs); Albuquerque, NM
1982  Guest Artist; Midwestern State University (produced suite of lithographs); Wichita Falls, TX
1982  Guest Artist; Arizona State University (produced suite of dye transfer photographs under Mark Klett); Tempe, AZ

Selected Public & Corporate Collections:
Createx Colors, East Granby, CT
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ
Harkins Theatres, Mesa, AZ
Americana Museum, El Paso, TX
The Snite Museum, University of Notre Dame, IN
Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ
University of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, AZ
Harrison Museum of Art, Logan UT
Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX
Carillon Importers, Ltd, Teaneck, NJ
Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Ft. Wayne, IN
McDonald’s Corporation, Oak Brook, IL
McDonald’s Corporation International
Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart, IN
Prudential Insurance Company, Newark, NJ
Equitable of Iowa, Des Moines, IA
AMOCO Production Company, Denver, CO
Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, NY
XL Screw Company, Wheeling, IL
Altoona Public Library, Altoona, PA
Yuma Art Center, Yuma, AZ
University Art Collections, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Valley National Bank, Phoenix, AZ
Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Scottsdale, AZ
Wichita Falls Art Museum, Wichita Falls, TX
Oryx Press, Phoenix, AZ

Selected Publications, Periodicals & Broadcasts:
Mark McDowell has been interviewed and his work reviewed in more than one hundred books, magazines and journals from around the country, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Denver Post, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Time magazine.

Recent Activities:
Since 2004 Mark has been publishing books and portfolios in extremely limited editions with his Tiny Satellite Press and Cattle Track Press, Scottsdale and Santa Fe.  Specializing in photography and letterpress, both digital and vintage. He actively curates and tours exhibitions related to these publishing efforts. Exhibitions of his own artwork have been limited inclusions in small exhibitions and some solo exhibitions.  His work, when available, can be seen in Chicago and in Santa Fe but is generally available through commission only.

He makes his home in  Scottsdale, Arizona and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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