Michael Lownie

b.1952

Born in upstate New York, 1952
Moved to San Francisco in 1973

Experimental art in museums from the 50′s through the 70′s showed me that there was more to art than just painting a pretty picture.  It inspired me to think about the importance of subtle (and not so subtle) social implications art addressed.  Minimalism, Expressionism, Pop, Color Field…this was the world that said to me, “there’s something important here…adventure, discovery, experimentation, meditation”. The purpose of art changed through these movements and continues to morph into new and wonderful things.  That whole era stayed with me and I still find it relevant today.  The intellectual and primal aspects in Modern Art really helped form who I am today…and where better than to do it than San Francisco!

I'm currently working on this series of acrylic resin figures I cast from actual action figure dolls.  I’m enjoying using the action figures and elevating them to icons of a particular male ideal that society provides to young boys to encourage tough manly role models. 

When I was a boy we couldn’t play with dolls so I’m making up for lost time!

The globe series has been a fun investigation of playing with a diorama approach to create surreal worlds within a world.  Take a close look!

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I have survived with HIV for over 30 years!  Celebrating an anniversary and so thrilled to be alive, making the most of life and my creativity.

The intellectual and primal aspects in Modern Art really helped form who I am today. It inspired me to think about new art, and understand the importance of subtle (and not so subtle) social implications it addressed. Minimalism, Expressionism, Pop, Color Field…this was the world that said to me, “there’s something important here…adventure, discovery, experimentation, meditation”. The purpose of art changed through these movements and continues to morph into new and thought provoking directions.

I have currently been working on paintings and mixed media 3D works inspired by the iconic "action Figure" doll.  A doll that was finally made with boys in mind.  Of course, it had to be a "War Toy" right...with no genitalia, god forbid.  Well, I am taking this icon and bringing new twists and contexts, rounding out his personality a bit.   You'll see; check out my series!  Thanks.

Education:
Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree; Painting; Daemen College, Buffalo, NY 1977
Continuing Education; San Francisco; Digital Graphic Communications 2000-04

Solo Exhibitions:

Magnet; “What in the World”, San Francisco, CA, 2012
Open Studio; New Works, San Francisco, CA  2011
Magnet; “Big Boy Toys”, San Francisco, CA  2009
300 Third St.; New Works, Exhibition, San Francisco, CA  2008
Open Studio; New Works, San Francisco, CA   2007
300 Third St.; New Works, Exhibition, San Francisco, CA   2008
201 Third St.; New Works, Exhibition, San Francisco, CA  2007
Open Studio; Exhibition, San Francisco, CA  2005  2006
88 Kearny St.; Lobby Exhibition, San Francisco, CA  2005
33 New Montgomery: Lobby Exhibition, San Francisco,  CA  2005
China Basin Bldg.; “Atmospheres” Exhibition, San Francisco, CA  2004
45 Fremont St.; Lobby Exhibition, San Francisco, CA  2003
Pacific Heights Towers; Staging Exhibition, San Francisco, CA  2001
Bayhill Business Complex; 18 works, Exhibition, San Bruno, CA  2001
American Citizen’s Theatre; Theatre Installation, San Francisco, CA  1996
Clinical Partners Headquarters; San Francisco, CA  1993
La Merenda; “Sticks for Thought”, San Francisco, CA  1992
Open Studio; New Works, San Francisco, CA  1991
Payday Headquarters; Commissions, San Francisco, CA  1988
J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency; Exhibition, San Francisco, CA  1984
Gensler and Associates Architects Headquarters; San Francisco, CA  1984,1982
Joseph Magnin’s Union Square; Windows Exhibition, San Francisco, CA  1983
Institute of Business Designers; Western Conference: Site Specific Installation, San Francisco, CA  1983
Zuni; “Twenty Stick Works”, San Francisco, CA  1982
Flood Gallery; “Stick Constructions”, San Francisco, CA  1982
Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition; Daemen College, Buffalo, NY  1977

Some S. F. exhibitions have been in the expansive lobbies of downtown San Francisco businesses through working relationships with Art Consultants

Group Exhibitions:

Art Saves Lives Gallery; Group show,  Castro St., San Francisco CA 2017
Greg Moon Gallery; “After Dark IV” , National Juried Gallery Exhibition, Taos, NM, 2015
Metro Pictures; Visual AIDS “Postcards From The Edge”, NY NY,  2017
Luhring Augustine Gallery; Visual AIDS “Postcards From The Edge”, NY NY 2014 -2016

10th Annual Artist & Celebrity Birdhouse Auction; Southampton Social Club, Southampton NY2014
ARC Gallery; “Structure”, National Juried Exhibition, San Francisco, CA 2013

Archangel Artists Collective; 50 Shades of Great,  Palm Springs CA  2013
LGBT Center; "When I Grow Up", Open House invitational, San Francisco, CA  2012
CRG Gallery;
Postcards From the Edge, Visual Aids, NY, NY  2011
The Painting Center;
The Sword of Damocles with Visual Aids,  NY NY 2011
5 Claude Lane Gallery;
Bacardi Artisan Series, juried show, San Francisco, CA  2011
North Main Gallery; Birdhouse Art Auction Benefit, Southampton, NY  2011
SomARTS Gallery; Annual “Big Deal”, Visual Aid Benefit, San Francisco, CA  2000- 2011
North Main Gallery; Birdhouse Art Auction Benefit,  Southampton,  NY  2011
Karyn Mannix Contemporary; Birdhouse Art Auction Benefit, Southampton, NY  2010
Atlanta Airport;  “Visual Encyclopedia”, Atlanta, GA  2009
111 Minna;  “A Million Little Pictures” w Art House Coop, San Francisco CA 2009
Art House Gallery; “The Canvas Project”, Atlanta, GA  2009
Snyder Caldwell Gallery; “Heroes and Hearts” VIP Preview, San Francisco, CA  2009
Hampton Road Gallery; 4th Annual Birdhouse Art Auction for Breast Cancer Southampton, NY  2008-09
SomARTS Gallery; “Open Studios Artists Exhibition”, San Francisco, CA  2007
Hampton Road Gallery; 3rd Annual Birdhouse Art Auction for BreastCancer, Southampton,  NY  2007
Sarah Nightingale Gallery; 2nd Annual Birdhouse Art Auction for Breast Cancer  Southampton, NY  2006
The Center; “Healing Force”, Group Exhibition, San Francisco, Ca  2006
Denise Robergé Art Gallery; (represented by), Palm Desert, CA  2005-06
Jade Nectar East Gallery; “First Annual Birdhouse Art Auction” Southampton, NY  2005
SomARTS Gallery; “Open Studios Artists Exhibition”, San Francisco, CA  2005
Brent Sikkema Gallery; “Postcards From The Edge”, New York, NY  2004 & 2006
Academy of Friends; “Awesome Art Auction”, The Clift, San Francisco, CA  2004
SF Main Library Exhibition Space; “Reversing Vandalism”, San Francisco, CA  2004
Catharine Clark Gallery; “Spice”, San Francisco, CA  2003
Space 743; “Scapes”, San Francisco, CA  2002
Steven Wirtz Gallery; Group Show: Host: Toomey Tourell Fine Art, San Francisco, CA  2002
The LGBTCenter; “Positive Too”, San Francisco, CA  2002
SF Main Library & Bill Graham Auditorium: Am-Far Conference; San Francisco, Ca, 2002
Derek Silva Gallery; Visual Aid Group Exhibition, San Francisco, CA  2000
Herbst Theatre Greenroom; PRC Benefit, San Francisco, CA  1999
Akron Art Museum; “Have a Heart” Benefit auction, Akron, OH  1985
Institute of Business Designers; Benefit Auction, San Francisco, CA  1984
Flood Gallery; “Red”, San Francisco, CA  1981
Albright Knox Art Gallery; Juried Exhibition, Buffalo, NY  1977
Wilcox Mansion Gallery; Juried Exhibition, Buffalo, NY  1977

Publications:

San Francisco Bay Times; “Big Boy Toys at Magnet Art Gallery”, December 17, 2009
The San Francisco Chronicle; “Artists put their hearts into a good cause”, Feb 8, 2009
The Best of California Artists and Artisans, (Book), Kennedy Publications, 2006  (Juried: Honorable Mention, mixed media)
Imagery used:

The Advocate; “Turning Hate into Beauty”, by Will Shank,  June 2004
The California Arts Fund Brochure, Northern California Grant makers,  2003

Mural Project Article:
Buffalo Magazine; “Flying Colors”, Urban revitalization; Murals,  July 1978
Web Related articles: imagery used;
Dragonfly Media; “Hate Crime into Art”, by Jim Van Buskirk, (“Mixed Messages”) 2004
Common Ground; “Reversing Vandalism”/ (“Mixed Messages”) 2004

Grants:

Hearts in SF, San Francisco Trauma Center…….2008
Visual Aid San Francisco; Grants: 1999- 2012
Visual Aids New York; Grants: 2005, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013


N.Y. State CETA Grants; Community Mural Projects, Buffalo, NY  1977-79

Commissions:

Numerous residential commissions completed: both nationally and internationally.
Commissioned 2 art installations for corporate headquarters:
• PAYDAY, Reception lobby and President’s office, San Francisco, CA  1990

Related Experience:

Volunteer artists’ mentor; Creativity Explored, teaching developmentally disabled adults 2007-2012
Fine art decorative finishes;  1979-2000
CETA Mural negotiation, design and execution,  1977-79

Contact

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