New exhibit opening on First Friday will feature artist who lost much of her vision
“Memories of Awe” by Gretchen Howarth, which features acrylic paintings on canvas, will open March 1 at KU School of Medicine-Wichita.
Artist Gretchen Howarth gradually lost much of her vision due to Stargardt disease, a progressive retinal condition. As described by Howarth, “with thousands of holes in her retinas she sees through a galaxy of tiny dots and has no center focus at all.”
In 2019, years after being declared legally blind, Howarth began an unexpected journey as an artist. With no background in art, she began drawing landscapes with pastels and a few years later started learning her way around acrylics on canvas.
She’s been a Wichita First Friday featured artist several times and has had two exhibits in the Envision Arts Gallery (one of which shared space with the world-renowned fully blind artist John Bramblitt). In 2022 Gretchen won first place in the annual international American Printing House for the Blind art contest.
“Memories of Awe” will feature acrylic paintings on canvas and will be displayed in both the east and west galleries of the William J. Reals Gallery of Art. The exhibit will open with a reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday, March 1, in the West Atrium at KU School of Medicine-Wichita. Complimentary refreshments will be served. The public entrance is the patient entrance on the east side of the building (1001 N. Minneapolis). Parking is available in the visitor parking lot or on Minneapolis Street.
The William J. Reals Gallery of Art is free and open to the public. Regular business hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.