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"Expressive Artscapes" an Exhibition by Saralee Howard
Exhibit and Opening Reception April 7, 2017

The Arts Council is pleased to present "Expressive Artscapes" by Saralee Howard. Howard's exhibition will be on display at the Arts Council through the month of April.

Artsist Bio
A licensed professional counselor by day and an artist by night, Saralee  Howard paints and counsels with joy and an abiding interest in external landscapes (land and water) and internal landscapes (heart and soul).

She has been been painting for eight years, exhibiting six of those years at ArtPize in Grand Rapids, Mich. She has been honored with acceptances into juried exhibitions around the country, including the Edward Hopper House Art Center in Nyack, New York; Nails in the Wall Gallery, Metuchen, New Jersey; International Society of Experimental  Artists, Glouchester, Massachusetts, and the Tubac Center of the Arts, Tubac Arizona. Other than her own beloved home/studio in St. Johns, MIichigan, Mackinac Island is her happy place.

She  was deeply gratified to win Grand Prize at the 2016 “Waters of Mackinac” exhibition at the Richard and Jane Manoogian Art Museum on Mackinac Island for her mixed media piece, "Leaving Mackinac" (Rain and Tears).  

Her Master of Arts in American studies (American art, history and literature) and her Master of Arts in counseling, provide background for outside landscapes and artworks connected with strong expressionistic human emotion. She loves to paint with bright colored acrylics; to collage disparate elements; and to insert photographs in her paintings. She gives credit to God the Creator for her creative spirit and gives thanks to her husband Jim Schultz who also likes to wander landscapes. Saralee and Jim have grown children: Emily Filler of Richmond, Indiana and Graham Filler (married to Alicia Filler) of DeWitt.  

Artist Statement
I paint and create with joy, abandon, and colors. Paint, collage, ink and shards of photographs make up the works in this exhibit. Art like counseling is a way of hearing and seeing stories and picking out patterns. Some of  these works are exterior landscapes interwovenwith interior dreams, visions and imagination.  "Expressive Artscapes" is the name of this exhibit, which viewers are invited to participate in. Exhibition guests are invited to step into these expressive artscapes and to look and consider carefully: How does each artscape make them feel?  Wild? (Yellow) Fiery? (Red) Inspired? (Blue) Calm? Green. Thoughtful? (Brown). Sad? (Black) Then, they can choose one or more colored beads corresponding with the feelings they have about the painting and drop the bead into the container near that painting. 

Art for me is a shared journey. My inspiration may come from hearing a song at church; listening to a grief-stricken client; or walking through an amazing landscape. Something from the world around enters into me, and I try to paint or collage or photograph or do all three of those things to transform that which I received from the world into a meaning-laden artwork which I then send back to the world. My artworks are only complete if those seeing the artwork have a reaction. Wild? Fiery? Inspired? Inspired? Calm? Thoughtful? Sad? Once they choose, then the artwork is completed.

Visit Saralee's website at saraleehoward.com or her Facebook page The Art of Saralee Howard.