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Frank Fowler, Jr.: The Desert Was My Teacher


“Frank Fowler, Jr.: The Desert Was My Teacher” opens with a 1st Friday Artist’s Reception May 3rd, from 5-8 p.m. and features an Artist Talk at 6:15 p.m. that evening; the exhibition unveils the newest paintings of this accomplished Navajo artist. Fowler learned to mix colors as a child, working with a watercolor kit his mother brought him from a gas station. Now an accomplished Contemporary artist, Fowler's acrylic paintings represent the Navajo culture and land he's been immersed in his whole life. “Right now,” he notes, “I'm painting Navajo culture, local landscape back home - northwestern Arizona. And I do realism, impressionist and abstracts. Modern and contemporary.” A diverse artist, Fowler has nevertheless always stayed with his own way of mixing colors and with his own application methods. He rarely uses any photo references: “My works come from my own visions, what I have seen or witnessed,” he notes. “I'm still approaching [canvases] my own way and every canvas I work on teaches me more [about] mixing my own colors.”

His was a very traditional upbringing and this energy feeds into each canvas by Frank Fowler, Jr. “I'm just grateful that my Dad used to take me to the winter Yei Bi Chei ceremonies as a child. I remember the Yei, Water Sprinkler, came over to us by the bonfire; we were covered in blankets to keep warm, snow gently falling. Water Sprinkler, whooping, doing his antics, sprinkled snow on me with the fox tail. I remember the snowflake crystals coming down on me - I was blessed.”

The first year Frank Fowler, Jr. exhibited, in 2006, he won a Best of Show and 1st place ribbon from The Gathering, an invitation-only showcase for top Native American artists in Litchfield Park, AZ. That same year he won Best in Division and 1st place at the Heard Museum Indian Market in Phoenix. He has since accumulated "a box full of ribbons" at all the top Indian markets and Southwest museums.

The exhibition runs through May 19th.