03 Aug Featured CPAC Member: Patricia Howard
Member Since: 2020
Our many talented members are the catalyst for what we strive to do here at CPAC – to foster appreciation and understanding of fine art photography. They bring diverse visual interpretations and artistry to the Center. This quarter, we are thrilled to share a new project that focuses on memory, family, and home by member Patricia Howard. Discover intimate moments Howard has captured of her mother and father, as well as their house and interior environment, creating a personal time capsule with her series Sanctuary. Additionally, her cyanotype work was most recently part of the 2021 Annual Members’ Show at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center and won Best in Show.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
By Patricia Howard
My father lives on three acres in a house he built in Delaware over 65 years ago. It is a ranch house filled with all the objects that he and my mother collected during their time together. It is his world and it is a time capsule of my family.
My husband Ted and I recently moved into this house. We had left DC and were planning a move to Colorado. I had not lived in Delaware in over 40 years. We thought we’d be there for a couple of months until our place was done. Things got complicated. My mother passed away soon after we arrived and COVID hit in the spring. We ended up staying for over a year.
My father has always been the caretaker in our family. He was the one who heard us as children when we were sick in the night. When I had nightmares, he would take me outdoors and show me the constellations in the sky until I was calm. He nursed my mother through chemotherapy, broken bones and too many sicknesses until he could not save her anymore. She passed away from heart failure. She was an artist — a painter — and a strict Christian. He misses her dearly. During the pandemic, Ted worked remotely in her studio on the issues of public media, surrounded by paints and easels.
While we were there, my father fell three times, suffering broken bones and an edema below his eye. We took care of him as well as we could, intent on keeping him out of the emergency room as the corona virus was rampant.
It was not all sickness and isolation. The three of us put in a large vegetable garden together. Every tree, bush or flower on his property had been placed there by my father and he gave us advice on where and what to plant. We ate fresh tomatoes, beans and peppers all summer.
These photographs are images of my mother and father, as well as their house and its interior environment. My father is 100 years old. I shot hundreds of photographs. It was a challenge to be objective about someone and a world I am so close to. It is unusual to have a living parent at this age let alone one that is on their own and mostly self-sufficient. This project is concerned with memory, family and home. It is my goal to convey a world that has always been part of my life but that I also know can’t exist much longer.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Patricia Howard is a photographer and educator based in Louisville, Colorado. Her work has been featured in Don’t Take Pictures and Lenscratch and published in Cyanotype: The Blueprint in Contemporary Practice as well as Voices: The Art & Science of Psychotherapy. Her solo exhibit House to House was deemed one of “The Ten Best DC Photography Exhibits and Photographic Images of 2019” by Louis Jacobson of the Washington City Paper.
She has been awarded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, The Photography Master Retreat in France, Cow House Studios in Ireland and at the Burren College of Art, also in Ireland. She was recently a visiting artist at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA. and has exhibited at Photoworks, Glen Echo National Park in Maryland. In 2021, she received a “Best in Show” award for her work in the Colorado Photographic Arts Center members’ show.
Patricia’s photography focuses often focuses on the conceptual and incorporates a strong element of storytelling. A graduate of the University of Delaware, Patricia received her MFA from Penn State University.
She currently teaches at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center and remotely for the Smithsonian Associates.