MICHAEL w. howes : about irds & rugas

Michael w. Howes, "Red Footed Ird Atop Ruga," mixed media, 2018


OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, 07/05, 6 - 9 P.M.
ARTiculate artist talk: Sunday, 07/08, 4 p.m.


With his newest exhibition at BRG, where he has been an artist member since 1995, Michael w. Howes returns to a place he views as much imaginary as it is real, Lake Boeuf (geographically located roughly 85 miles southeast of Baton Rouge). As he puts it, "Lake Boeuf is a  very mystical place comprised of a complex group of creatures living out patterns of existence very much like the world you and I make our way through."

Within the ecosystem of Lake Boeuf have sprung creatures from Howes' imagination, including "Irds," which represent the more transitory part of life, uplifting and fleeting, and "Rugas," which epitomize evil and the ever present dark side of this place the artist views as both real and imagined.

Using these creatures of his invention as metaphors, Howes expresses the vulnerability and the uniqueness of the people, animals, and plants of this unique region, highlighting the often unforeseen and unpredictable changes that occur in their surroundings.

Michael w. Howes is a native and resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He received the B.F.A from Louisiana State University and the M.F.A in sculpture from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Retiring after 30 years of teaching art in Louisiana universities, Howes continues to complete commissions for private residences and public settings. In collaboration with other sculptors and designers, he has also created public art works in the cities of Covington, Franklin, Monroe, and Thibodaux, Louisiana. 

Living and teaching in South Louisiana have had a profound effect on Howes and his art. His observation of and concern for the changing culture, vanishing coastline, and endangered wetlands of the area are evident in his work. The flora and fauna of South Louisiana are the sources of the “Irds,” “Rugas,” and “Sects” that populate his drawings and sculpture.

His work has been exhibited at juried and invitational shows throughout the U.S. He has also been invited to participate in international exhibits in New York City; Princeton, New Jersey; Beijing, China; London, England; and Florence, Italy.


This exhibition is presented alongside the latest works from Mary Lee Eggart and Amy James. All works from these three artists are on view, free of charge, during normal gallery hours (12 - 6 p.m., Tue - Sun) through July 26, 2018.