Judy Howard is an artist who works in soft pastels and watercolor and specializes in landscape painting. Most of her pastel paintings portray scenes around northwest Arkansas that she likes to call the quiet places — a field along an old highway, the edge of a pond, an old gravel road, a small creek — scenes that people drive by and don’t notice much. She is attracted to the way light hits objects and textures in those simple scenes and the memories and moods they evoke.
Howard, a native of Fort Smith, Ark., received a B.A. in Art Education from Arkansas Tech University and taught art at Van Buren Junior High School briefly before opening a home studio, where she taught art classes for several years. She also taught drawing and watercolor classes for adults and children for 13 years in the continuing education program at Westark College, now University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, and then worked as a designer in their publications department for eight years before moving to Fayetteville, Ark., in 1998. She was a graphic designer and project manager for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture for 18 years, designing publications of all types and displays for both the Division and Bumpers College.
Howard is a member of the Ozark Pastel Society (OPS) and Artists of Northwest Arkansas (ANA) and served several years as newsletter editor for both organizations. She has participated in numerous shows in Arkansas through the years, winning awards for both watercolor and pastel paintings. Some of her more recent awards for pastel paintings were Best of Show and 2nd Place in Miniatures in the Ozark Pastel Society Open Art Exhibition 2015; Best of Show and 1st Place in both the Landscape and Abstract categories in the Ozark Pastel Society Open Art Exhibition 2014; 1st Place in Landscape and 2nd Place in Miniatures in the Ozark Pastel Society Open Art Competition 2013; Best of Show in the 18th Annual ANA Regional Exhibition at the Arts Center of the Ozarks (ACO) in August 2012; and 1st Place in both Landscape and Miniatures categories in the Ozark Pastel Society Open Art Competition 2012. Her pastel painting “Tracks and Shadows” was accepted into the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) 23rd Juried Exhibition Web Show 2013, which can be viewed online at http://tinyurl.com/lytnr4y.
She has had solo exhibits of her pastel paintings at the Arts Center of the Ozarks, in Springdale, Ark., in April 2013; the Bentonville Convention and Visitors Bureau in Bentonville, Ark., in April 2014; the Center for Art and Education in Van Buren, Ark. in May 2016; and 211 Café in Bentonville in June 2016.
Howard has studied pastels with Liz Haywood-Sullivan, Kim Casebeer, Lorenzo Chavez, Denise Larue Mahlke, Jack Hetterich and Judy Maurer.