About

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”     -Émile Zola

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It is the unspoken stories that interest me the most. There is something I revere in the silence of a painting. Trying to capture what I see around me, be it a face, a flower, a building, is what drives my work. What I happen to rest my gaze upon is no less beautiful than the paintings I admire in a gallery or museum. I choose various subjects because they call to me like unknown books on a shelf that I simply must read. Every single person, every single organism, and even every single inanimate object has a life - a secret world of adventures and heartbreaks. As we live our increasingly busy lives, and as technology fills up every moment and distracts us endlessly, we start to forget little things. But it is those little things and little moments that define what is most worthy of our time. I sometimes fear forgetting what it felt like as a child, when I could stare at what looked like an entire galaxy in a single toy glass marble. I never want to forget that feeling, and I want my viewers to remember that feeling, too, no matter what they're observing. By noticing the everyday people and objects we normally pass by, and elevating each of them onto a metaphorical pedestal or into an actual gilded frame, I invite viewers to stop and discover the stories hiding there. Behind that pair of eyes, or lost in wilting petals, there is a whole world lived that we might otherwise have never known or appreciated. 

Rowena has been making art since she was old enough to hold a crayon. She graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and minor in Art History. Over the years she worked a myriad of promising but unfulfilling jobs before realizing she should never have left off making art at all. It took far too long to come to that conclusion, but now that her children are a little older, she's been able to concentrate on honing her skills in her home studio and hanging out with the many talented artists throughout Hampton Roads. Rowena resides in Virginia Beach with her talented, loving, supportive husband and three cool, clever, and silly kids.

 

Exhibitions (Selection)
2020  Garden of Life Exhibition, The Artists Gallery, Virginia Beach, VA, Best in Show

2020  Artists Who Teach Exhibition, Charles Taylor Center, Hampton, VA

2019  Chesapeake Bay Watercolorists Fall Members Show, Norfolk, VA, Honorable Mention

2019  FilFest USA, Virginia Beach, VA

2019  Virginia Artist's Exhibition, Charles Taylor Center, Hampton, VA

2019  Governor's School for the Arts Faculty Show, Origins Gallery, Norfolk, VA

2018  Virginia Artist’s Exhibition, Charles Taylor Center, Hampton, VA
2017  The Graceful Envelope, Washington, D.C., Honorable Mention
2014  A Taste of Art, Philippine Cultural Center, Virginia Beach, VA
2008  Free Spirit, Center for Cultural Arts, Suffolk, VA, Award of Merit
2008  Dare to Dream, One Eleven Gallery & Studios, Norfolk, VA
2007  Tiny Treasures, The Hermitage Museum, Norfolk, VA
2007  Rock-n-Surf, The Artists Gallery, Virginia Beach, VA
2007  Quotes & Adages, Pembroke 4 Gallery, Virginia Beach, VA
2007  Group Show, Phillips Art Gallery, Virginia Beach, VA
2007  One Foot Square, The Artists Gallery, Virginia Beach, VA
2007  Fabulous Forgeries, The Artists Gallery, Virginia Beach, VA
2006  Solo Exhibition, The Delightful Dish, Virginia Beach, VA
2006  Best of Virginia Artists (online), Williamsburg, VA, Honorable Mention
2005  Color III International Exhibition, Period Gallery (online)
2004  The Philippine-American Festival, Virginia Beach, VA
2004  Solo Exhibition, The Jewelry Vault, Broadway, VA
2002  The Graceful Envelope, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition

Awards

2020  "On the Brink of Becoming Acquainted" Best in Show

2019  "Apple Blossoms" Honorable Mention

2017  "The Graceful Envelope" Honorable Mention

2008  "Pattern Pieces" Award of Merit

2006  "Poppin' Poppies" Honorable Mention

Juror

2019  57th Annual Ocean View Art Show, Norfolk, VA

2019  Boys & Girls Club of Southeast VA, National Fine Arts Exhibit, TCC, Virginia Beach, VA

Education
James Madison University, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Minor in Art History, 1999

Memberships

Chesapeake Bay Watercolorist, Virginia Watercolor Society, Portrait Society of America, Norfolk Society of Arts