Andrea Kowch (b. 1986) was born in Detroit, Michigan, where she earned her BFA at the College for Creative Studies. Throughout the past few years, Andrea has won numerous regional, national, and international honors for her art, placing her on the stages of Washington D.C.’s John F. Kennedy Center and New York City’s Carnegie Hall. As a result, she has had work exhibited in places such as Washington D.C.’s Capitol Hill and Corcoran Gallery of Art, New York City’s Diane von Furstenberg Gallery, and Miami’s Margulies Collection, to name a few. As a 2005 award winner and alumnus of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, Andrea ranks in America’s top 2% of young American talent.
Largely self-taught and influenced by the work of American Masters and the Old Masters of the Renaissance, Kowch’s paintings and illustrations are best known for their rich symbolism, mood, and control of medium, leading her art to be described as a “powerful voice emerging, demonstrating a highly sensitive consciousness that informs a culturally laced symbolism.”
To date, she has illustrated two books, and has had work featured in CMYK Magazine and Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art international art annual, volumes 15 and 16. Many of her works hang in collections across the United States and Canada. She credits life as her muse, where experiences old and new, give her the power to speak visually.
The stories and inspiration behind my paintings stem from life’s emotions and experiences, resulting in narrative, allegorical imagery that illustrates the parallels between human experience and the mysteries of the natural world. The lonely, desolate American landscape encompassing the paintings’ subjects serves as an exploration of nature’s sacredness and a reflection of the human soul, symbolizing all things powerful, fragile, and eternal. The real yet dreamlike scenarios I create serve as metaphors for the human condition, all retaining a sense of vagueness because I wish to encourage viewers to form their own conclusions, despite the fact that my main idea will always be present.
As a people, we share a common thread, and as active participants in an ever-changing modern world, the purpose of my work is to remind viewers of these places that we feel no longer exist, and to recognize and honor them as a part of our history that is worth preserving. Symbolic explorations of the soul and current events concerning our environment are expressed through the incorporation of animals and other elements of the natural world to transform personal ideas into universal metaphors.