Mandy Howe is an artist and art teacher from Rhode Island. Primarily a painter, her work often includes natural objects and collected things. She graduated from Boston University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts , Boston. She has two children and teaches art in both independent and inner city schools.
Mandy lived in Northeastern Vermont for many years and exhibited work statewide. She was awarded a residency to the Vermont Studio School for work exhibited in Johnson State College’s Statewide Juried Show. Her work was shown at Catamount Film and Arts in St. Johnsbury, the Fleming Museum in Burlington as well as Bread and Puppet Theater, Hardwick Townhouse, Whitewater Gallery, the Millhouse Bundy Gallery in Waitsfield and the Thomas Hood Gallery in Montpelier.
A native Rhode Islander, Mandy returned to Aquidneck Island in 1993. She taught at the Pennfield School, Melville School, Thompson Middle School, Bradley Hospital Schools, CitiArts and New Urban Arts in Providence and St. Andrew’s School in Barrington. As a RISCA Teaching Artist Mandy recently completed two permanent installations at the Martin Luther King Community Center in Newport. These include two mixed media Community Quilts and a series of ceramic tiles. These were both created by adults from the neighborhood, the staff and pre-school and elementary age students. The focus of her 2018-2019 Artist Residency is called “ Art Around the World” and focuses on ways in which different environments affect the art of different cultures around the world.
Mandy is a member of Deblois Gallery and the Newport Art Museum as well as the Hera Gallery in Wakefield and the Jamestown Art Center. Mandy’s paintings have been included in the Annual Juried Member Show at Newport Art Museum, the Hera Gallery in Wakefield and Hunter Gallery at St. Georges School, Arnold Art and Spring Bull Galleries in Newport; Artists for the Bay and the RI Natural History Survey annual exhibitions. Her work is included in many regional and private collections.
“Whenever I walk along local shorelines, there are bound to be shards of plastic, shapes of plastic, colors of plastic mixed in with the endless sea life that comes ashore. I pick up the bright red bottle cap that catches my eye, a shard from a turquoise cup, a torn balloon, the yellow square of a price tag: these will all be here for thousands of years. We cannot escape it. Micro-plastics mix with micro-flora, floating sheets of plastic lap up amidst the seaweed, shells of horseshoe crabs are mixed in with plastic netting: it’s all co-mingled now, and I can’t leave either man-made or natural objects out of my paintings.
In painting the shoreline I am trying to describe this Anthropocene Era we are now in as well as the sea creatures, the layers, the currents, the marks and shadows that live there. My series “Shorelines” numbers 17 large paintings. Recent hand surgery has led me to work on small 6”x6” paintings. These have helped to clarify my intentions and further develop my craft. The small paintings are exhibited in various groupings and serve as details of the large paintings hung beside them.
The tension between the natural beauty of the shoreline and what washes up as human litter is compelling. It is also the reality of our times. How to come to terms with this in a painting is the challenge.
I continue to experiment with various materials. I keep trying to describe what I see.”