16812 Pacific Coast Highway
Sunset Beach, CA 90742
By C. MacDonald
SUNSET BEACH, CALIF.--Artist Howard Hitchcock shares some features with famous Movie Director Alfred Hitchcock--a twinkle in the eye, a warm smile, a somewhat mischievous outlook on their work and a dry humor. Each of these "lay psychologists" also feature their unique personality traits in their artistic endeavors. Alfred died in 1980 but his film work lives on. Howard's creations continue and are featured at the Anderson Art Gallery, 16812 Pacific Coast Highway, next to Captain Jack's Restaurant in Sunset Beach.
You see Howard's humor in the titles of his linoleum and woodcuts, ("Split Personality," "High Strung") and his impressive sculptures ("Wolf at the Door" and "On the Bandwagon"). One guest at a recent gallery reception stared at his mixed media creation, "Where's the Queen?" and asked Howard, "Where's the Queen?" The queen's in the eye of the beholder and might be royally discovered in more than one spot.
"I like to get people to think and find the meaning or double meaning in the art," Howard explained. Looking at his fun work can be like taking a "Rorschach Test."
Some of his most interesting work is in his sculptures, which range in size from a few inches to more than six feet tall. His dazzling "Column of Figures II" is a giant bronze statute of stacked figures that generates "awe."
The journey of a creation is one of the things Howard loves best. "Ceramic Shell casting is the most spectacular art process imaginable," he said with glee in his eyes. "The crescendo of a night pour is when the glowing golden stream of liquid bronze flows into the red-hot shell, bringing it to neon incandescence in the dark."
Howard's book, "Out of the Fiery Furnace," is written for those who wish to make ceramic shell molds themselves. Teaching others how to succeed is what he has always been about. For more than 30 years, Howard taught art to thousands of students at Long Beach State University. And, he taught his family how to appreciate art--his son became a violinist. In honor of the feat, Howard created an acrylic on canvas that some see as a "cross-eyed violin," he jokingly smiled. His delightful wife, Addie, adores art and encourages her talented mate.
The former Huntington Beach Artist of the Year earned an Ed.D. from Columbia University, an MFA from the University of Washington and a BA from the College of Puget Sound. You can meet Howard and attend his special receptions at the Anderson Gallery from 2 to 5pm every Sunday in July. Year-round, you can see some of Howard's amazing work at the gallery that's open Friday and Saturday from 1-9pm and Sunday from 1-6pm. As Alfred Hitchcok would say in conclusion, "Good Evening!"