County: Okanogan County
Perri Howard is a multi-disciplinary artist based at TwispWorks in the Methow Valley of Washington State. Originally from Marblehead, Massachusetts, Perri spent her undergraduate years at the Evergreen State College and the University of Washington. She received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2001. In addition to her studio works and sound performances, Perri sets a powerful stage for community voices through public artworks, cultural placemaking, and community-based art projects. Perri is a Fulbright Scholar and she has completed residencies in Portugal, India, Italy, Brazil, and, most recently, New Brunswick, Canada at the Kingsbrae International Residency for the Arts. Her work has received wide recognition including an Artist Trust Fellowship, 4Culture Special Project Grant, and Seattle CityArtist Grant. Perri serves on the University of Washington School of Art Advisory Board and is President of the TwispWorks Foundation. Her favorite instrument is a handheld compass.
Perri received 2004 GAP Award funding to assist with professional development through upgrading dated photographic equipment—including digital camera conversion—and covering tuition for an audio production class, as well as studio time with a sound engineer. Because the synthesis of digital imaging and sound is central to the artist’s studio work, this support will ensure that “my existing efforts will be enhanced by further production knowledge and increased familiarity with the necessary tools for the development of new work, focusing in particular on the viewer’s connection to their own individual perceptions of place.
As part of her 2006 Fellowship, Perri and her collaborator David Stutz presented radius, a live, improvised, audio performance at the Seattle Department of Urban Planning & Development’s Urban Sustainability Forum. Over 200 people heard raw field recordings she made around the globe, reduced, reused, repaired, and recycled to form a sonic landscape of sustainable practice. Featured sounds included the opening bell of a drawbridge, wind in the trees, a community bonfire, the patter of a Bengali taxi driver, the ping of instruments monitoring the ocean, a suspension bridge at rush hour, the buttermilk blessing of Tiruvannamalai, a gathering storm in Scotland, and an endangered bird from the Andaman Islands. She says, “radius connects the outer edge to the center, drawing attention to the interrelatedness of all things.” One audience member stated, “What I discovered in that performance was that the juice or spark in art is in the quality of communication.” she states, “This gig clarified that the work, for me, is not ‘entertainment’ per se. It’s more about cultivating an environment where people can settle in and listen. That’s where I was at when I gathered the sounds and where I want to meet the audience when hand-meets-fader.”
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