Howland debuts black and white collection at Carson City’s Artsy Fartsy
Who: Fred Howland Photography
What: 17 pieces of black and white landscape, portraits, and figurative themes
When: 4-7:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Artsy Fartsy Gallery, 405 N. Nevada St.
Most people can agree there are sets of colors that are alluring, or influence some kind of emotion.
But for Carson City photographer Fred Howland, it’s different; he displays his work only in black and white.
“I hated color,” he said, as he inspects one of his framed photographs on a wall at the Nevada Legislature. “Sometimes people only observe the colors. I want to reset an emotion and take it to a different level.”
Howland harvests the idea by capturing fine details of a landscape or model he photographs; from the jagged rubble of Elko’s Lamoille Canyon to creases of one’s hands.
“To me, it makes my work unique,” he said. “I’m trying to replicate what I could do in a chemical dark room but by using today’s technology to get those results.”
His influence began during his high school years at Lexington High School in Lexington, Mass. Howland opened his first gallery at the Cary Memorial Library and attended Montserrat College of Art in the town of Beverly for photography. He later pursued his art career by attending Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.
It wasn’t until 1995 Howland moved to Northern Nevada. He lived in San Jose and Los Angeles after graduating schools in New England, and met the love of his life, Susan.
From scenes across Douglas County and Carson City, to familiar local faces such as Gertrude Gottschalk, Howland said Nevada is the best place to be — on top of its natural lighting for photography.
“I’ve lived in eight states and I think Carson City will soon become the best town to see art,” he said. “I think it will happen if we keep promoting art here.”
Although Gottschalk’s photoshoot was one of the most connective projects he has had, Howland said the best places to take photos in the area are at the Carson River, Kings Canyon, and Saddle Ranch.
Since he’s made his debut in Nevada, Howland has won numerous awards such as the People-Portrait category in 2015 Nevada Magazine photography roundup — a self portrait of his ridged hands, cradling an apple.
He also won Best of Show for the 2015 Summer Show — and first place in the 2015 Nevada Day show — at the Nevada Artists Association Gallery, and Best of Show at the 2016 Delicato Winery Photography Show of California.
Now, Howland is preparing for his gallery showing at Artsy Fartsy Gallery on Thursday, from 4-7:30 p.m. At least 17 pieces of landscapes, still lights, and figurative themes will be on display.
“Sometimes, I’ll drive by a scenery and it will catch my eye,” he said, describing a photo he took north of Minden of pollen falling through sunlight. “Timing is everything in photography.”
But when it comes to showcasing art in Carson City, Howland said he didn’t face any challenges as an artist.
“I think having at least four galleries here is a great start,” he said. “If the artists need to survive, it’s up to them.”
After his showing at Artsy Fartsy Gallery this week, Howland is planning to get involved with the Holland Project in Reno and hopes to expand his art into the Bay Area.
He also plans to teach one-day photography classes at the Brewery Arts Center, such as intro to black and white photography and photo matting 101.
But one of Howland’s newest projects is something he will be teaching himself for a while — showcasing his art through the mobile app, Instagram, @fred_howland_photography.
“I don’t think there is an artist in Carson City that isn’t successful and that hasn’t sold,” he said. “But it requires talent and tenacity — you have to go out and work at it.”