October Showcase Artist: Dan Howell

October Showcase Artist: Dan Howell

Stephenson House gallery to hold 40 years’ worth of work in pottery

Dan Howell sees more in a piece of clay than most of us ever will, a skill he has honed for four decades as an artist. His clay work began when he was a young boy, making sculptures on the creek bank at his father’s farm in Central Indiana. With some encouragement from a high school art teacher, he continued his foray into clay. He first earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Ball State University, and continued to receive a master’s degree in sculpture and ceramics from the same school.

From there, Dan proceeded to teach art in a wide variety of forms for 45 years in three different Indiana high schools. Now retired, his work has come full circle with his ceramic studio on the banks of the White River here in Noblesville. 

Not content with the classical form, Dan’s style has explored a range of media and styles. He has included fiber, carved wood, cast and welded metals, practical furniture, and fanciful lawn sculpture in his body of work. His clay pieces range from hand-built abstract stoneware clay slabs to wheel-thrown porcelain.

Currently, his style involves “the interplay of contrasting texture of surface and form,” as he puts it. He says, “I’m interested in trompe l’oeil, by having a solid form covered with a soft contrasting material, when in reality it is all the same media: fired stoneware.”

Dan’s work spans 40 years and has been shown in collections both locally and internationally. Starting October 4, Nickel Plate Arts will begin hosting a showcase exhibit (through October 29) of Dan’s collection in the Stephenson House, with an opening reception happening Friday, October 7 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Join us on this First Friday for Dan’s reception as well as a block party with a variety of fun activities, live music, food and more.

Rachael O'Dell
rodell@nickelplatearts.org