Mike Howat is a NH-based painter and educator. His architectural work explores collective memory, urbanization and Americana. Howat earned his BFA at New Hampshire in Institute of Art in 2014 and has been actively involved in the regional art scene since. Howat has taught at AVA Gallery & Art Center in Lebanon, NH since 2020 where he also coordinates an outreach program that features studio visits and artist demos. He was the long-term artist-in-residence at Kimball Jenkins School of Art in Concord from 2016-2020, where he teaches painting and drawing.
"I am interested in how buildings and architecture become expressions of the people living in them. I often take walks and roadtrips to find new imagery, and combine different buildings, places and memories. The front-facing vernacular facades of apartment buildings and corner stores frame rows of windows, sometimes scattered with satellite dishes or mismatched shutters. Some have vibrant curtains, others fully closed vinyl blinds. Some lights are on, some off, some have pink grow lights. Each is a passing glimpse into someone’s life. The paintings are a montage of both imagined scenes and memories collaged with actual places and buildings.
The interiors of the windows are painted from life in my apartment. The windows look outwards to a parallel building with a mirroring set of windows. Objects are scattered on the windowsills, generally things of escape and distraction reflective of the times—half-crushed beer cans, a cell phone with Spotify open, dystopian novels." -MH