FLORENCE - South Carolina native Jack Dowis, a practicing architect who has had an interest in drawing and painting for most of his adult life, is featured this month, until Feb. 27, as part of the FMU Art Gallery Series.
Displayed in the Smith University Center, the exhibit is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1-5 p.m.
In addition to exhibiting in group shows and one-artist shows, Dowis is a regular contributor to competitive exhibitions and has won a number of awards. He is represented in numerous collections, including the South Carolina State Art Collection.
Dowis, one of the "Carolina Eight," a group of North and South Carolina artists organized for group exhibitions and the exchange of ideas, is also a member of the Florence Artists Guild and the Pee Dee Artisans Guild, and a Member of Excellence and past president of the South Carolina Watercolor Society.
Virtually self-taught, Dowis refers to himself as "an experimental painter." Many of the 26 pieces in this exhibit are the results of his constant exploration of rather unconventional media, as well as different ways of working with the "conventional" ones. Having developed his skills and understanding of art through study, practice, and experimentation, he shares this knowledge and experience through classes and workshops for both beginning students and accomplished artists.
The FMU Gallery exhibit shows remarkable versatility and includes pieces created in a variety of styles and subjects, from misty wooded vistas to architectonic cityscapes.
For more than 40 years, Dowis has been actively involved in the advancement of the arts in his community, region, and state. He was instrumental in the founding and organization of the Florence Area Arts Council and served one year as president. He is a trustee of the Florence Museum and served from 1960-70 and again from 1972-75 as President of the Museum and Chairman of its Board of Trustees.
When the South Carolina Arts Commission was organized in 1967, he was one of the original commissioners appointed by then-Governor John West; He served in that capacity for five years, including three years as Chairman of the Selection Committee for the State Art Collection.
He is also a Member Emeritus and past president of the South Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.