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Montpelier resident artist shares unique finds in a box

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Photo by Wanda Jackson. Patricia Bowden’s three-dimensional mixed-media work titled "H' is for."

Photo by Wanda Jackson. Patricia Bowden’s three-dimensional mixed-media work titled "H' is for."

Published on: Thursday, September 19, 2013

By Wanda Jackson

“I’ve always loved the idea of boxes and containers of all kinds,” said Patricia Phillips Bowden, an artist-in-residence at Montpelier Arts Center in Laurel. “There is something somewhat mysterious and captivating about a closed opaque container or box that just makes me want to explore.”

Through Sept. 29, 15 of Bowden’s found objects and three-dimensional works are being exhibited in “Mixed Media Contained,” a solo show in Montpelier’s Resident Artist Gallery.

“For many years, I’ve been collecting found objects with the idea of honoring them as pieces of art in their own right,” Bowden said.

“I’ve collected on walks around the neighborhood, places I’ve visited and have even jumped out of the car at a red light or two,” she added.

A number of items were “found and passed on by friends,” Bowden said.

Her work “‘H’ is for…” centers around a favorite manly pastime: fishing. Found objects in the work are basic items you would find in a tackle box. There are J-hooks in various sizes, a bait box, line and lures.

And, even if you aren’t an avid fisherman, Bowden’s eye for detail and artistic arrangement of these found objects will inspire the colors of the sky and coastal scenes by moonlight.

In another three-dimensional mixed work, “Touch Me,” Bowden seizes the opportunity to elicit viewer participation and to thank “all supporters who have helped make this possible by just being there,” she said.

Bowden earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in the District of Columbia and has exhibited throughout the Washington, D.C., area including Frederick and Columbia, Md. Her work has also been shown in San Francisco and at the Bahnhoff West End in Berlin, Germany, and is in several private collections.

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