Patric Rowley is living proof that art is more than preserved images. Part of his heritage will be on display tonight at Artworks during the monthly Final Friday art crawl. He and his daughter Elizabeth Rowley have teamed up for their first father/daughter art show.
“This show is a big deal for me because my father was my biggest mentor,” Elizabeth said. “He has a reverence for art and art making. There’s a soulfulness to how he creates that inspires me.”
Patric began to paint when he was 9 years old, shortly after he received his first box of crayons. His career as both a student and a painter covers more than half a century. He is both an artist and an art teacher. He taught landscape painting and figure drawing at Wichita State University and Kansas State University, as well as classes at the School of Wichita Art Association.
Mentoring is just as important as the creative process itself for Patric. “I had a lot of mentoring over the years,” he said. “Teaching is how I give back. I believe in passing down the joy of art.”
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Patric has a long and diverse history of involvement in the Wichita arts community. His works have hung in galleries across the country and have won multiple awards. His paintings are fixtures in many local galleries, including the Wichita Art Museum. At 87, he shows no signs of slowing down. He works in his private studio near downtown Wichita. He usually attends a local Zumba class four times a week.
For this show, Patric is focusing on more recent works, primarily oil paintings. The Kansas landscape is a prominent theme, with Beaumont and other familiar spots represented on canvas in simplistic fashion.
His works aren’t replicas and are more interpretative.
“A lot of my stuff is imagined things. I doodle. Something catches my eye and I go with it,” he said. “I also like a lot of action in my paintings.”
“I’m moving to a more minimalist approach with my work,” he said. “There’s no better place than Kansas to make a minimalist statement because of how our land is laid out.” On his canvasses, colors often collide to form stories.
“Memories” features a stylized cornfield that symbolizes a childhood crossing point. One summer, he stayed with both sets of grandparents in rural Oklahoma. Their houses were separated by a cornfield that he had to run through to reach the other side. Elizabeth, a Wichita native, now lives in Lawrence, where she teaches art at a private school. She was heavily influenced by her father and his peers.
For this show, she is displaying her new plein-air series, a collection of canvasses painted outside in and around the Lawrence ranchland.
Her works are serene pallet-knifed renditions of iconic views from places like Slough Creek and Stull, Kan.
“I love the landscapes around Lawrence. It’s like nowhere else in Kansas. My art became more inspired when I moved here,” she said.
“Working outside adds in so many elements. This is true realism. It’s my interpretation of that day, that moment, that place.”
Elizabeth said that joining her father in their first show together fulfills a longtime desire.
“My father’s work was done in such a poetic way,” she said. “When I layer color now with my landscapes, I think about that poetic feeling. I owe that to my father.”
If You Go
Father and Daughter: Patric and Elizabeth Rowley
Where: The Gallery at Artworks, 7724 E. Central, No. 300 (in Piccadilly Square)
When: Final Friday opening reception, 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. Works on display from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays through July 23. Closed July 4.
Cost: Admission is free. Most works are for sale.