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Beulah House - Michael Ward

Beulah House - Michael Ward

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Beulah House
Michael Ward

18 x 14 Inches
Acrylic on Canvas

Painting of a house in Beulah, Michigan, on the shores of scenic Glen Lake.

Michael Ward began his artistic career doing pen and ink renderings of historical architecture. He began painting in 1980, first in gouache, then in acrylics. Artists whose work he admires and draws inspiration from include Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler, Richard Estes and Vermeer. He is most interested in depicting what Alan Watts called the mystery of the ordinary; the workaday world we live in without seeing until we are forced to focus upon it, as in a painting.

Nearly all his paintings are based on photographs he has taken, primarily of Southern California scenes, over the years. Though it was never his intention to depict nostalgic scenes, many of the images he has painted have disappeared or been radically altered in the ever-changing landscape that is Southern California. Thus nostalgia is thrust upon the works. But what he is really after is bearing witness, and making people stop what they're doing and pay attention, to something they may have never seen before, but that makes them feel “I know this.”

He is currently working on a series of house paintings. These simple, ordinary, unnoticed places have hidden interior lives, though they do not reveal them to us. The houses are from a variety of locations in the United States and Mexico. They are the place you grew up in, a place of nurture, experience, trial, memory and forgetting. They are all a common size, to symbolize our shared experience of being human.

Phyllis Lutjeans, Museum Educator and former curator, has said of his work: “Although Michael Ward may be called a neo-realist painter his work can ultimately be described as abstract realism. The picture image is photographically realistic, but within the context of the painting his compositions are complex and almost abstract. Deciphering the work section by section one sees how a multitude of individual complete compositions are put together to form the entire work. For me the viewer is confronted by a realistic image that puzzles us and clearly tells the story simultaneously.” Or as a young girl viewing his work at the Laguna Festival of Arts remarked, “You make the ordinary look beautiful.”

Michael Ward is a self-taught painter.

Solo Shows
  • Only See, Gallery 417, Los Angeles, CA, April 2019
  • Ordinary Beauty, Center Gallery, Anaheim, CA, October-December 2016
  • Retrospective Exhibition, CAP Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA, December 2014-February 2015
  • The Mystery of the Ordinary, Casa Romantica Cultural Center, San Clemente, CA, January-February, 2014
  • This is not a Photograph, Studio Gallery, Irvine, CA, January 2013
  • Orange County Airport Community Focus Space 2008-2009
  • Walkabout, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, 2008

Selected Group Shows
  • Laguna Beach Festival of Arts, Laguna Beach, CA, July-August 2013-2020
  • Artist Alliance 2019 Biennial, December, 2019–May, 2020, Oceanside Museum of Art, Oceanside, CA
  • CAP Invitational, Laguna Beach, CA, July-August 2017
  • California: Weird, Wonderful + Wild. Group invitational show, Jen Tough Gallery, Vallejo, CA 2017
  • San Francisco to San Diego: California Urban Landscapes, California Art Club, Altadena, CA
  • Art Kudos International Competition 2016, Third Place
  • Best Coast, Golden West College, Huntington Beach, CA 2015
  • Signs Plus, Palette Gallery, Asbury Park NJ, 2015
  • 206 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA, June-July, 2014
  • Group Show, Chemers Gallery, Tustin, CA, April 26-May 10, 2014
  • First place, Summer: an art exhibit, 2nd City Council Art Gallery, Charles Phoenix, juror, 2011
  • Summer Salon, Tirage Art Gallery, Pasadena, CA 2011
  • Guest Artist, The Artist Eye, Laguna Beach, CA 2011
  • The Neon Show, Austin Details, Austin, TX
  • Art Kudos International Competition 2010, finalist
  • 2009 California Open Exhibition, Long Beach Arts, 2009 -- Sinéad Finnerty-Pyne, Curator
  • Venice Free Clinic Art Auction, 2009
  • Urban Ambience, Long Beach Arts, 2009 -- Mike Daniel, Juror
  • California Dreaming - Paintings of the GOlden State, Tirage Art Gallery, 2009
  • California Visual Artists Group Show, 2nd City Council Art + Performance Space, Long Beach, CA 2009
  • Holiday Salon, Tirage Art Gallery, 2008
  • Artist Showcase, The LAB, Costa Mesa, CA 2008
  • Art Kudos International Competition 2007 – Peter Trippi, Fine Art Connoisseur, curator.
  • Artists Magazine, 24th Art Competition, Finalist (2x), Landscape -- Patricia Tobacco Forrester, juror
  • Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery Open Salon, 2007
  • Mesa Art Gallery, 2007
  • Art + Architecture Art Auction, West Hollywood, CA, 2007
  • Crackerjack Group Show, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, 2007 -- Jay Belloli, Armory Center for the Arts, curator
  • Venice Free Clinic Art Auction, Venice, CA, 2007
  • Sexy Beasts Group Show, Art Murmur Gallery, Los Angeles, 2007
  • TURF Group Show, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, 2007 -- Gregorio Luke, Museum of Latin American Art, curator
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art Rental Gallery (ongoing)
  • Made in California, Brea Civic & Cultural Center, Brea, CA, 2007 -- Michelle Urton, LACMA, juror
  • Centered on the Center, Huntington Beach Art Museum, 2007
  • Open Show, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, 2006-7 -- Ann Philbin, Hammer Museum of Art, curator
  • Metroscapes (Group Show), Art Murmur Gallery, Los Angeles, 2006
  • Centered on the Center, Huntington Beach Art Museum, 2006
  • Made in California, Brea Civic & Cultural Center, Brea, CA, 2006 -- Michelle Deziel, Norton Simon Museum, juror
  • Artists Magazine, 22nd Art Competition, Finalist, Still Life -- Jane Jones, judge
  • Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery Open Salon, 2004
  • Orange County Artist Juried Exhibition, 2004
  • Orange County Biennial, 2001 -- Patricia Correia, juror
  • Made in California, City of Brea Art Museum, 1998

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