by Emilee Perdue | October 7, 2022
Discover Mystery and Mayhem at the Museum of Art – DeLand
See Andrea Kowch's moving—and melancholy—work at her upcoming exhibit "Mysterious Realms" at the Museum of Art - DeLand.
Andrea Kowch spent her childhood in an imaginary world full of mystery, nostalgia and the occasional Midwest twister. For many years, she ran along the autumnal hills of Michigan, exploring abandoned farmhouses and observing the native wildlife with a keen eye. With each make-believe adventure she embarked on, a painting bloomed in her mind—something melancholic, detailed and, to some, perhaps a bit unsettling.
Now, in her mid-thirties, Kowch finds her passion is transferring her stories onto a canvas with nothing but her adventurous mind and ambitious paintbrush. The paintings of internal woes and bygone America are inspired by her own journeys and surroundings. Even though the Southeast peninsula is nowhere near the heartland, Floridians can take in the loneliness of sweeping plains and the complexity of human emotion at Kowch’s exhibition, “Andrea Kowch: Mysterious Realms,” at the Museum of Art – DeLand.
Kowch’s paintings depict women deep in thought while the world around them begins to unravel in disarray. Kowch is known for her use of landscape and wildlife as a conduit of inner turmoil while the faces of her characters look detached and serene.
“The emotions and feelings I evoke through my imagery are of a universal sort.” – Andrea Kowch
One of her most revered paintings, The Courtiers, will be on display at the Museum of Art – DeLand this winter. The Courtiers portrays a woman in an exposed field amid dozens of sandhill cranes. Each of Kowch’s women have tousled, wild—and almost sentient—hair that matches the surrounding animals and weather. Much like the stormy skies in The Courtiers, her other paintings include devastating natural forces such as wind, fire and tornadoes. Along with her juxtaposition of people and nature, Kowch’s commitment to detail and somber color palette creates a rare three-dimensional effect on her audience.
Pattie Pardee, the executive director at the Museum of Art – DeLand, is thrilled to display Kowch’s artwork this upcoming winter. She hopes that bringing young and talented artists to DeLand will expand the artistic horizons of the community. “Our purpose is to inspire people and spark their imaginations,” Pardee said.
Even though Kowch’s haunting surrealism is inspired by the Midwest, there is still so much for Floridians—or anyone—to connect with. Among the wild weather and untamed animals, there is a larger connection in her work: universal emotion. “The emotions and feelings I evoke through my imagery are a universal sort, where every viewer—of all ages and from all walks of life—can find equal acknowledgement, solace, wonder and meaning in my world,” said Kowch.
Get swept away into the world of Andrea Kowch in her exhibition at the Museum of Art -DeLand, running Jan. 14 through April 9.
For more information visit, moartdeland.org.