MCA Presents Beloved, Quirky, and Covered in Paint: Peter Bowman, 1942-2015

Contact: Natalie Fleenor
Communications Coordinator (901) 272-5113

Dec. 16, 2016




Peter BowmanMemphis College of Art Presents Memorial Exhibition, Beloved, Quirky, and Covered in Paint: Peter Bowman, 1942-2015

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis College of Art (MCA) announces Beloved, Quirky, and Covered in Paint: Peter Bowman, 1942–2015; an exhibition in memory of MCA alumnus Peter Bowman, a former art instructor and beloved artist within the Memphis community. The exhibition will be on view Jan. 4–26 in the Rust Hall Main Gallery, 1930 Poplar Ave., Overton Park. Artwork will be available for purchase, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit MCA’s scholarship fund at the gracious request of Beth Bowman. A reception will take place Friday, Jan. 20. For more information about the reception and to RSVP, please contact Holly Guthrie at or (901) 272-5168.

As an artist, Bowman was known in the Memphis community for his landscape and still life paintings, characterized by thick layers of brightly colored paint. “Peter had a very recognizable style and really pushed paint around,” said MCA Dean Remy Miller. “He painted with unabashed enthusiasm and the paint was heavily applied. He was always covered in paint, but it wasn’t the sort of ‘show off’ thing you sometimes see in artists that are trying too hard. Peter wasn’t capable of being false—he was as genuine a painter and person you would ever want to meet.”

Bowman was a beloved member of the Memphis community for more than his artwork—he was a friend and mentor to many, and “fully participated in life outside the classroom” (Marci Woodmansee, Memphis University School article, 2016). In addition to engaging with friends and strangers alike, Bowman regularly contributed his art to the annual Works of Heart auction benefitting the Memphis Child Advocacy Center, and was an active member in Memphis’ Artists’ Link organization and Evergreen Presbyterian Church in Midtown.

Originally from Corinth, Mississippi, Bowman earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Memphis Academy of Arts (now Memphis College of Art) in 1967, and a Master of Arts from Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. Bowman taught art at Memphis University School for nearly 30 years from 1979–2008, in addition to also teaching at Rhodes College and in MCA’s Community Education program. His work is included in the permanent collections of Rhodes College, Financial Federal, Pfizer, Promus, and the VCU Health System. He exhibited extensively around the state, including shows at David Lusk Gallery, Memphis Botanic Garden, Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Leu Art Gallery at Belmont University in Nashville, Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, and Memphis College of Art. Bowman passed away on July 31, 2015.

Beloved, Quirky, and Covered in Paint is one of many exhibitions that MCA hosts for the public each year. All MCA exhibitions are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; and Sunday, noon–4 p.m. More information about this exhibition and other upcoming events may be found online at

Photo: Courtesy of Beth Bowman; Peter Bowman, “White Rose,” oil on canvas, 60” x 48”, 2005

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