"multicultural" being this year's interior design buzzword,
home decor elements suggestive of ancient lands are making inroads
in the United States, as well as in Central Florida. A case in
point: the mixed media " by Winter Park artist Don Howard.
Bearing the influence of Howard's many visits to Mexico, his large
wall plagues evoke the look of stone Aztec or Incan temple deities.
Other pieces draw upon African imagery, with angular mask-like
faces that invite viewers to create their own mythological context.
recounts when a member of the local band Ghetto Blasters inquired
if he could purchase one of Howard's more pricey plaques via installments.
Impressed by the young man's enthusiasm for the piece, Howard made
an exception to his pay-up-front policy.
Plaques range in price from $60 for an 11-inch work to $700 for
one that's 4 to 5 feet tall. Says Howard in his typical modest,
understated style: "It's something different." By appointment
only; 2881 Carew Ave., Winter Park; (407) 647-6507.
plaque is mounted upon a pressed wood backing, then skillfully
painted, varnished and antiqued to create a stone or wood look
(other materials Howard utilizes include tile, sand, wire and
With an average size ranging in height from 20 inches to 3 feet,
the dramatic, one-of-a-kind pieces make a definite statement.
So far, Howard
has sold several of his large-scale plagues to a Los Angeles Mexican
restaurant and The Mill restaurant in Atlanta. Local showings
at downtown venues, including Harold and Maude's and The Blue
Room, have garnered a following for his unique work among downtown's
His wife and
public-relations agent, Joanne,