A Blast from the Past: Video of Lecture & Musical Performance in ’79

Here I am lecturing on the relationship between music and printmaking for me. Enjoy!

A description of the video recording, by Bill Ritchie (at that time, Professor of Art at the University of Washington):

“John E. Dowell, Jr. returned to the University of Washington in 1979 to “perform” his paintings with the Visual Music Ensemble, a group he assembled to play musical works based on his watercolors. He also spoke to students in the School of Art Graduate Seminar, with Bill H. Ritchie hosting him at the CCTV Studios. Mr. Dowell got his MFA Degree in Printmaking at the UW in 1966, and Ritchie invited him back because John shows how he blends musical composition with visual arts and shows how artists from different disciplines can take on creative efforts together.”

Upcoming Exhibition, “Problem Solving: Highlights from the Experimental Printmaking Institute” at the University of Delaware

My Lithograph “The Bridge” is part of the upcoming exhibition, “Problem Solving: Highlights from the Experimental Printmaking Institute” at the University of Delaware.

The Bridge, Lithograph, by John Dowell Artist Photographer
22” x 18” Lithograph 2004 Edition of 50

The Bridge, Lithograph, 2004

February 7 – May 11, 2018
Opening Reception: Monday, March 5, 5-7pm

Problem Solving: Highlights from the Experimental Printmaking Institute

“Experimentation in the printmaking studio has a lot to do with problem solving,” Curlee Raven Holton, founder and emeritus director of the Experimental Printmaking Institute (EPI) at Lafayette College, explained in a 2014 interview. This exhibition celebrates a gift of prints from the EPI that Holton presented to the University of Delaware. To showcase the EPI’s role as a leading center for innovative experiments in printmaking across a variety of media and techniques, the exhibition puts selections from the EPI gift in conversation with significant works from the University’s extensive permanent collection of African American art.

Mechanical Hall Gallery
University of Delaware, Mechanical Hall
30 North College Avenue
Newark, DE 19716


Upcoming Exhibition, “Photographs Are Ideas” at Lehigh University

My photograph “Wacker Drive” is part of the upcoming exhibition, “Photographs Are Ideas: Selections from the LUAG Teaching Museum Collection” at the Zoellner Art Center, Lehigh University.

Wacker Drive (Chicago), Archival Inkjet Print on Photo Rag Paper, 2005

January 24 – May 25, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 8, 6-8pm

Photographs Are Ideas: Selections from the LUAG Teaching Museum Collection

Curated by Ricard Viera, LUAG Director and Chief Curator

According to Viera, “Today—as we see in the various works of individual artists, from single-plate processes, through analog, conceptual, and photo-based approaches—light and shadow continue to play a mysterious role in the theatrics of digitalization and the photoshop of IDEAS.  Keep in mind that an IDEA is not just a cognitive or conceptual action.  An IDEA could be searching and looking through the lens of a camera, or simply photographing an object as an IDEA of the subject.  An IDEA could be a visual metaphor, a descriptive narrative, a lie, or the act of mismatching a pair as a parallel to discovery.  In short, good photography is good theater.  That’s the IDEA.”

LUAG Main Gallery
Zoellner Arts Center
420 East Packer Avenue
Bethlehem, PA 18015


Solo Exhibition, “Cotton: The Soft Dangerous Beauty of the Past” at the Martin-Mullen Art Gallery, SUNY Oneonta

A solo exhibition of my cotton work is on display now through March at SUNY Oneonta.

Final Transition, Archival Inkjet Print on Photo Rag Paper, 2016

January 22 – March 16, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 25, 5-7pm

Cotton: The Soft Dangerous Beauty of the Past

Martin Mullen Art Gallery
SUNY Oneonta Fine Arts Center
Oneonta, NY 13820


January 20, 2018

ONEONTA, N.Y. — A new exhibit, titled Cotton: The soft dangerous beauty of the past, explores both the beauty of cotton and how it prolonged slavery in the U.S., and is being featured from January 22 to March 16 at SUNY Oneonta’s Martin-Mullen Art Gallery.

Photographer John E. Dowell, Jr., delivered a gallery talk during a public reception from 5-to-7 p.m. on Thursday Jan. 25, at the gallery, which was followed by a dance performance, “Cotton in Motion,” by choreographer Kareem Goodwin and SUNY students.

The cotton exhibit will allow visitors to experience how a four-year-old could get lost in a field of cotton, as the grandmother of Dowell did in South Carolina. They will be able to step inside what appears to be a cotton field. A maze of huge curtains printed with images of cotton hang from the ceiling. On nearby walls are seven monumental photographs of cotton, which range from the eight-foot long, “Breaking Away,” to the 13 foot-long, “Feeling the Pain.” Smaller photos from 27 inches to 34 inches high hang nearby.

“With this project, I want the viewer to feel, remember, wonder, think and examine their consciousness,” Dowell said, “and still see the beauty of this plant that changed the world.”

The second largest number of slaves in the United States were auctioned off in New York City. The official slave market opened in 1711 and was located on Wall Street between Pearl and Waters Streets. By 1730, 42 percent of New York city population owned slaves. Much of this history has been forgotten.

Dowell has built photographic images placing cotton on and around Wall and Pearl Streets in New York City, and Central Park, where Seneca Village, the first U.S. middle-class black community existed. The housing community was leveled by use of eminent domain to make way for Central Park.   I have put images cotton in Harlem as a symbolic reminder of our forgotten past and our responsibility to remember how our country was built.

Dowell collaborated with Philadelphia choreographer Kareem Goodwin to create “Cotton in Motion,” a dance that introduces human movement and interaction with the cotton installation. SUNY Oneonta dance instructor, Shannah Kane, worked with Goodwin and the university’s dance students to stage the performance for the reception.

As a performing artist, Goodwin has worked with such choreographers as Christopher L. Huggins, Louis Johnson, Ronen Koresh, Gary W. Jeter II, Zane Booker and Arthur Mitchell. He also has been a member of Eleone Connection, the Pre-Professional Company of Eleone Dance Theatre. He is on the faculty at Eleone Dance Unlimited and the Dance Institute of Philadelphia, and he serves as a guest faculty member at the Rock School of Dance Education.

In early 2017, Goodwin was selected as the inaugural recipient of the New Voices of Dance Award presented by Dissonance Dance Theater in Washington, D.C.   He is also an NAACP ACT-SO Local and Regional Gold Medalist, as well as a National Finalist.

Dowell is a nationally recognized artist, master-printer and photographer. For more than four decades, Dowell’s fine art prints, paintings and photographs have been featured in more than 50 one-person exhibitions and represented in the permanent collections of 70 museums and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, France.

Dowell’s photographs are in the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and have been added to his work in the collections of the Fogg Museum of Harvard University, the Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design and the Lehigh University Museum. He captures the pulse of cities and agricultural landscapes of America in his large-scale photographs. Working primarily from sunset until dawn, he focuses on the surface of buildings, the reflections of their exteriors and, quietly, their interior spaces. By illuminating the unseen, he brings awareness to a single moment.

This exhibit and dance performance are funded, in part, through the estate gift of Jean Parish, faculty emerita, Art, to the College at Oneonta Foundation, and, in part, by the African American Museum in Philadelphia.


Upcoming Exhibition, “The Expanded Caribbean: Contemporary Photography at the Crossroads” at Drexel University

Several of my pieces will be included in an upcoming exhibition at Drexel University’s Leonard Pearlstein Gallery. See details below.

Peering Through, Archival Inkjet Print on Canvas, 2013

September 19 – December 10
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 28, 5-7pm

The Expanded Caribbean: Contemporary Photography at the Crossroads features work by 16 artists with projects based in several different nations and communities neighboring the Caribbean Sea.  The exhibition brings together images that document, interrogate, challenge, and otherwise engage the meaning of place in an area with a rich history as a target of exploration and conquest, voluntary and forced migration, trade, travel, and tourism. Responding variously to cultural, historical, mythological, and personal aspects the region, artists initiate dialogues about how events of the past inform contemporary experience in a continually shifting and evolving environment.

The exhibition is accompanied by a quality print and electronic catalog that includes images of all works as well as contextual scholarly essays by Dr. Mimi Sheller, Professor of Sociology at Drexel University, and Dr. Susanna W. Gold, Curator.

For a link to purchase the catalog, please visit Dr. Susanna W. Gold’s website.

Leonard Pearlstein Gallery
3401 Filbert Street
URBN Annex
Philadelphia, PA 19104


Upcoming: “Approaching Abstraction” at the LaSalle University Art Museum

One of my pieces, “Dream Cleansing,”  will be included in LaSalle University’s upcoming exhibition. See details below.

Dream Cleansing, IRIS print on lithograph, 1989


Approaching Abstraction: African American Art from the Permanent Collection
March 15, 2016 – June 15, 2017

Poetry reading by Yolanda Wisher, April 6 at 12:30

Special Exhibitions Gallery
Lower Level, Olney Hall

My little slice of Heaven in Philly

I am excited to announce that my new home is nearly finished. Located in North Philadelphia, near Temple University. I hope to be making a lot of new artwork in this space very soon.

Back when this project was still in its beginning stages, a journalist published an article about it in Naked Philly (Philadelphia’s Real Estate News). This may look like a barn…but it’s fast becoming my little slice of heaven in Philly.


Open through August: “Rittenhouse Square – A View Aloft”

Open NOW, Rittenhouse Square – A View Aloft
An exhibition of John Dowell’s photographs of Rittenhouse Square
at the Griesing Law office, Suite 3630, 1717 Arch Street (Three Logan Square), Philadelphia
The exhibition can be viewed Monday – Friday from 9 am – 5pm,
and at other times by appointment. Open through August, 2016.
For more information or to arrange a personal tour of the work,
contact John Dowell at tel: 215-715-2170 or dowel@pipeline.com


“Home is Where” Juried Exhibition


[A Juried Exhibition]

Exhibit Dates: July 11 – Sept 10, 2016
Opening Reception: July 17, 4-6pm.
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm and Saturday: 10am-4pm
West Windsor Arts Council: West Windsor Arts Council, 952 Alexander Rd., West Windsor, NJ 08550

This spring and summer the multi-disciplinary arts programs of the West Windsor Arts Council will explore the concept of “Home” via visual and literary arts.  West Windsor Art Council, located in the beautiful historic Princeton Junction Firehouse is pleased to offer artists the opportunity to submit work for the “Home Is Where…”, exhibit opening on July 11, 2016.

The focus of the exhibition is to present a visual expression of the artists’ concept of home, which could be anything from a physical space to an abstract emotion.  This juried exhibition hopes to broaden the perception of what one considers home, by featuring artists’ diverse interpretations on the subject.   Works featured in this exhibition will present a thought-provoking, transformational, joyful or perhaps melancholy exploration of a subject that dominates the human psyche, opening ourselves to the diversity of “home”, and possibly leading us to discover something unexpected that we have in common.

JUROR:  Dejáy B. Duckett, Associate Director and Associate Curator of the Arthur Ross Gallery, University of Pennsylvania.
Independence Hall, Philadelphia Cityscapes, by John Dowell artist photographer
Another View, Independence Hall
34″ x 27,” Archival pigment print on cotton rag paper, 2014

30th Street Station Reflections
34″ x 27,” Archival pigment print on cotton rag paper, 2007

Reception of “Utah: Humbled by the Presence of Time”

 unnamed Dance, Theater, Music, Ceramics, Visual Arts, Events and more.

Utah: Humbled by the Presence of Time
May 13 – June 4, 2016
Gallery Hours: M – F, 10am – 5pm
Free and open to the public
Internationally recognized and Philadelphia-based artist John Dowell will be showing some very unique, never-before-seen large scale photographs that are sure to stop you in your tracks.

Saturday Night Gallery Cocktail Reception and Fundraiser:
May 21, 2016, from 7 – 9:00pm – $25 per person.
Proceeds go directly to support our gallery exhibition program.

Purchase your tickets online for this event

Saturday Night Gallery Cocktail Receptions

Support Allens Lane Art Center as a cornerstone of our artistic community and enjoy signature cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in our gallery and lounge while you view the exhibitions and meet the artist. These cocktail receptions help keep our gallery program free and open to the public.

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