When SA Publisher Ron Jones wanted an eye-catching artistic element to grace the publication's new offices, he had no shortage of options. "After having a new logo developed, sometimes called a 'bug' in advertising lingo, I wondered about the best way to incorporate the image in our office environment," said Ron. "I wanted a piece of artwork that immediately told people they were in Sunshine Artist territory. And, as the publisher of the definitive arts and crafts festival guide, I had access to a wide open field of folks who could handle the challenge."
Ron considered running a
contest, asking readers to submit entries. But, asking readers to submit entries. But, "contests can be trouble," Ron laughed. "How do you choose between lots of great work? A wonderful problem to have, but a problem nonetheless."Enter Winter Park artist Don Howard. Don's bold, colorful sun gods and tribal art pop up in and around Orlando. Marketed masterfully by his wife, Joanne Howard, Don's work can be seen in cafes, office lobbies and bookstores.
Ron stumbled into a local business and was confronted with one of Don's larger than life pieces. It stopped him in his tracks. Ron wanted an unforgettable identity for the lobby and, at that moment, he
knew Don could deliver.
"Don's work captivated me immediately," said Ron. "The whimsical expressions, the depth, the vibrant color and commanding size told me I'd found the artist for our project."As you can see from the samples on this page, Don;s work demands attention. The large-scale, mixed media pieces range in size from two to four feet. Each piece is totally handcrafted, and an exercise in creativity and experimentation. His artistic sense dictates the materials. "Aztec Prince" may require wood, while "Salsa Sol" may be constructed of foam. Don has use papier-mâché, tile, sand, plastic, wire or even stone. He imposes no rules or
limits upon himself when it comes to constructing his unique creations. The materials used are the ones necessary to bring his concept to life.
Don's creativity really gets a workout in the decorating stage, however. Jewels, stones, tiles, bits and pieces of every kind adorn each mask.
Don Howard is a sunshine artist, and a Sunshine Artist. See more of his work at www.donhoward.com.


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