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Ron Cowie (’88) exhibits photography at Wolfe Gallery

Maumee Valley welcomes back Ron Cowie ('88) for an exhibition of his photography at the Wolfe Gallery.
The show is titled “Retrospective Conversation” and features works from the past 20 years celebrating creativity and visual poetry.
Mr. Cowie has used a camera to process the world as it is, and how he wishes it to be. And the pieces chosen for the show reflect that philosophy.

The show starts Friday, Dec. 9, and runs through Feb. 28. The public can meet Mr. Cowie at a reception Thursday, Dec. 8, from 5:30-7:00 p.m. in the Wolfe Gallery.

Mr. Cowie is donating the works to the school in hopes Maumee Valley uses the proceeds to support the visual arts program.

Mr. Cowie lives and works in Rhode Island, where he owns Oyster Farm Productions, a video production company. His work is in the permanent collection of the Newport Art Museum, Boston Public Library, and Maumee Valley Country Day School.

Artist statement about “Retrospective Conversation”
“Photography is a meditation for me. I spent more time just making pictures and less time concerned with “what it all means.” I’m reassured by the Stewart Copeland lyric “There is a pattern there to see, and the point will soon be clear to me.”

“Twenty years of life are reflected in this exhibition, and much has happened in that period. Some things are a little clearer, but instead of better answers to life’s purpose, I’m given better questions. This collection is a demonstration of restless curiosity, rambling poetics, and murmured prayer. It is a conversation with the divine.”

“I write this on a chilly Autumn morning in Rhode Island. The sun is shining, the leaves are golden on the tree, birds are at the feeder, and the night’s frost turns to mist before my eyes.”

About the artist
Mr. Cowie began taking pictures with some degree of seriousness when he was a teenager. His classmates at Maumee Valley Country Day School were the subjects. The problem was, his cameras kept getting stolen. One wasn’t his fault, but the other really was. In any case, he figured it was a sign from the universe that he wasn’t supposed to take pictures. So, he tried to do other things, but eventually asked for another camera, and that was that.

He attended the University of Cincinnati and majored in anthropology. He was the staff photographer for The News Record, the student-run newspaper. What he didn’t know in technique, he made up for in enthusiasm. Most of his time was spent taking pictures and hiding in the darkroom.

Figuring out how to make a life as a photographer wasn’t easy, so he looked at schools specifically for that career. He worked at a few photo labs as a custom printer. Not super happy at the time, but not miserable either. Ron was bored in Cincinnati, Ohio. It happens.

After a life-changing event, he attended the New England School of Photography in Boston, majoring in advertising and editorial photography. He assisted photographers and built his own practice. He learned several 19th century photo processes, which he still uses today.

His editorial client list includes Yankee Magazine, Rhode Island Monthly, Bryant University, the University of Rhode Island, SO Rhode Island, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He has a wide variety of commercial and corporate clients.

He has taught workshops and given lectures at The George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, The Episcopal School in Alexandria, VA, and the Museum of Fine Arts.

The thread connecting all of these elements is a love for light and stories. Having a camera has helped him make sense of this beautiful world with all its contradictions and mysteries.
Maumee Valley Country Day School is the only PreK-12th grade accredited, co-educational, and independent school in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.