Location: Warrenton, Virginia
Featured Work: Leviathan
Source: 2017-2018 CIVA Sourcebook
From curator Michelle Westmark Wingard.
Glenn Howell’s photograph has a gorgeous depth and mystery.
Describe your featured work.
The “Leviathan” image is from a photo of a tide pool on the Potomac River. Someone recognized the shape of a whale in the image so, after thinking about the intent of my work–to allude to something “greater than this” going on–I thought Leviathan an appropriate title. It also connects the work to Jonah’s experience and his seeing with new eyes after his encounter with the “whale.” I’m also alluding to the majesty of the heavens in the sparkling light on the grains of sand. Waters above/waters below, etc.
I make art to communicate my sense of wonder. Light and time are intrinsic to photography and can become metaphors of spiritual experiences. Because it is a recording mechanism as well as a malleable medium, photography has the ability to “translate” the spiritual aspects of the physical world. I believe light is something that is present in both the spiritual and physical dimensions. As a Christian, I’ve become aware of His presence in the things I “see” in my life that allude to what is “unseen”. These photographs are the result of years of seeing and thinking about seeing, photography and my place with it, and my calling as a Christian artist. I think photographs, as a recording of light reflecting from matter, have the potential to lead us from the flesh back to the Word.
What are you making now?
Right now, I just returned from a week in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and am working with the photographs from that trip. I’m also putting the finishing touches on a group of things for a show at St. Andrew’s in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, from September through October.
I belong to CIVA because…
I heard talk of the beginnings of CIVA back in the mid 1970’s when I was at Asbury College in Kentucky, studying art under Ed Knippers and Rudy Medlock. I thought it was a great idea and have been attending conferences when I can over the years ever since. I find that being a part of a group of artists who are all working uniquely together for the glory of God to be both inspiring and challenging as well. To hear younger people struggling with the same questions I had when I was their age–and see the art that comes from it–is a real blessing to behold. God is Good.
I spent my childhood in the woods of the Ohio River watershed. These and the contrasting visions of the steel mills whenever we went into town made my childhood landscape. Art became a way for me to “transcend to something other” early in life and I’ve been continuing that pursuit ever since. In 1974, I went to Asbury College to study for the ministry and discovered that ministry was not restricted to the pulpit. I eventually majored in art and received a B.F.A. from Youngstown State University. I am now attempting to incorporate creativity, imagination, and a fascination with beauty teaching young people.