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West Virginia Wesleyan College professor Robert Howsare is the new gallery director at the Colonial Arts Center. (Photo by Lily Hicks)

Introducing Robert Howsare: Director of the MIB Gallery at the Colonial Arts Center

BUCKHANNON – The MIB Gallery in the Colonial Arts Center officially has a new manager.

West Virginia Wesleyan College professor Robert Howsare is the new gallery director at the Colonial Arts Center. Howsare, with his arts and educational background, hopes to inject a fresh perspective into the local art scene, seamlessly blending education, community engagement, and artistic expression.

“I am originally from Bedford, Pennsylvania, but my artistic journey led me to the Kansas City Art Institute for my undergraduate studies,” Howsare said of his journey to Buckhannon. “It was there that I delved into printmaking, graphic design and fine art. Later, I pursued my Master of Fine Arts degree at Ohio University, specializing in printmaking.”

Howsare came to Buckhannon to teach and is now an assistant professor in the Fine Arts Department of which he is chair, as well as the new MIB gallery director.

A peek inside the CAC’s MIB Gallery. “Printed Matters” will run through Saturday, Feb. 10 from 4-8 p.m. (Photo by Lily Hicks)

Inspired by his time in Kansas City, Howsare’s approach to curating art was shaped by that time period in his life.

“I was immersed in a vibrant arts community, which shaped my belief in art as a catalyst for dialogue and engagement,” he said. “The H&R Block Space, with its hands-on curation approach, ignited my passion for making art accessible, which led us to the exhibit we just showcased in the gallery.”

“We just had ‘Printed Matters: an interactive print exhibition,’” Howsare added. “This exhibition utilized an innovative format that invited community members to curate the exhibition in a salon-style display.”

(If you haven’t had time to check out “Printed Matters,” you have two more chances this weekend. The exhibit will be open to the public from 4 to 8 p.m. on both Friday, Feb. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 10.)

Upon joining the Colonial Arts Center, Howsare wasted no time planning to transform it into a dynamic hub of creativity and community interaction.

“I believe in inclusivity and ensuring that we keep exhibitions free and open to the public,” he said.

Howsare’s emphasis on collaboration and education is evident in the center’s plans for diverse programming.

“As an educator, I see the gallery as a platform for learning and growth,” he said. “From workshops on printmaking techniques to exhibitions that spark conversations, I hope that these future events will encourage visitors to engage with the art on display on a deeper level.”

Howsare is looking forward to collaborating with the community in the future.

“I hope to collaborate with local organizations to organize events like art walks and workshops, fostering unity and creativity in the town,” he said.

Looking ahead, Howsare envisions a vibrant future for the Colonial Arts Center, with exhibits designed to inspire audiences of all ages.

“I am committed to making art accessible and meaningful to everyone in Buckhannon and beyond,” he said.

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