The Wichitan

Dirk Fowler exposition opens in Juanita Harvey Art Gallery

Caden Burross

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Sarah Adams, a junior in  kinesioloy, Collin Darland, a senior in art education, and Kelby Doughty, a senior in sports management look at the posters during the opening. "The art is very interesting, I enjoy the way he uses print making in the music field," Darland said.

Sarah Adams, a junior in kinesioloy, Collin Darland, a senior in art education, and Kelby Doughty, a senior in sports management look at the posters during the opening. “The art is very interesting, I enjoy the way he uses print making in the music field,” Darland said.

The work of a leading voice in the creation of posters for prominent musicians including Willie Nelson, the Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons and Wilco — Dirk Fowler — opened as part of a display in the Juanita Harvey Art Gallery on Sept. 13.

Gallery Director Catherine Prose said, “He’s done work for some very prominent bands and you only saw a select handful.”

Prose, also an associate professor in the visual arts department, has know Fowler for 13 years, since her days working in Lubbock where Fowler is now a professor at Texas Tech.

While discussing possible artists for one of the four shows this year, gallery committee member and visual arts professor Gary Goldberg suggested Fowler. Prose took the opportunity to contact her longtime acquaintance, and luckily, he was able to exhibit during the first show of the year.

“Dirk is an easy guy to work with, and a pleasure to work with,” Prose said. “We were really lucky to bring him here, that he wasn’t spread too thin.”

Fowler’s work as an associate professor at Texas Tech’s School of Art was also appreciated. He was able to speak during a class and hold a workshop in the MSU visual arts print studio.

Audra Lambert, fine arts senior, was able to participate during Fowler’s lecture. “He’s really great, he actually came into our print-making class and we printed off some of his plates,” Lambert said.

“Nobody really does letter type printing anymore, so that’s what sets him apart, even in the graphic world,” Lambert said. “Someone could say that his work is really simple, but I think that’s probably part of why it’s so popular.”

Fowler has been working in graphic arts for 20 years and said clients seek him out because they are familiar with his style. He creates concert posters using a mix of letterpress and screen-printing; this unique style, often only using a few colors, is what makes him the right fit for many of the bands.

“They put a lot of trust in us,” Fowler said. “They have faith that we’re going to do, we – I’m talking about poster artist in general, that we’re going to listen to the music and interpret something and give a visual interpretation that is honest and works for the band.”

That interpretation is not always what a band is looking for, “Occasionally it might be the case were they say we’re not really into these, you want to do some more? Or you know, we’ll find somebody else,” Fowler said. “Luckily for me that doesn’t happen too often.”

Laura Hernandez, freshman in studio arts, said Fowler’s work was very inspiring.

“It’s very clean,” Hernandez said. “It’s more the concept than what you see, it’s the concept within the shapes.”

Fowler’s exhibition will be on display in the Juanita Harvey Art Gallery until Oct. 18.

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Dirk Fowler exposition opens in Juanita Harvey Art Gallery