Pablo Picasso once said, “the purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” Local artist and West Virginia University alumna Lotus MacDowell would agree.

In her exhibit titled, “Life as I See It: Viewing the world through an artist’s eye,” MacDowell showcases her greatest works, including paintings of luscious fruits and beach settings to countryside scenes and architectural structures. Her paintings are extraordinary, capturing West Virginia’s rich landscapes while tugging on her viewers’ heartstrings with her life-like illustrations of day-to-day living. Her subjects often reflect “the appreciation of the ordinary” depicting places and subjects that are imperfect and giving them their sense of realness and warmth.

MacDowell’s exhibit is currently on display in the Nutting Gallery at The Erickson Alumni Center Aug. 1 through Oct.1 from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

“I try to bring out things that most people overlook as they go through life, never realizing that these are part of what makes them feel good, happy or inspired,” said MacDowell, a 1976 graduate of WVU’s College of Creative Arts. “It makes me feel good if I can open the eyes of a person to see his or her surroundings in a new way.”

Her medium is primarily watercolors, and the art reflects the study of light, shadow and architecture. MacDowell’s works cover many local scenes including Bridgeport, Bruceton Mills, Fairmont and Morgantown, and places as far away as Florence and China – showcasing breathtaking outdoor scenes, local restaurants, shops and much more.

MacDowell, who has been painting professionally since 1972, received her bachelor’s degree in fine arts with an emphasis on painting. She has received three Artist-In-Residence grants and has written a textbook for teachers called, “Ideas for Art.”

Area visitors can view and purchase MacDowell’s artwork, as well as other works of art and unique gifts, from her shop – Artworks – located in Bridgeport, W.Va. Since opening in 1986, Artworks has expanded its offerings to include not only her work, but that of national, regional and local artists. The shop also boasts items such as pottery, jewelry, home accents and unique gifts. Artworks’ staff boasts more than 70 years of experience combined to offer the best shadowbox framing, hand painted frames, embellished matting and restoration of paintings and frames.

The public is invited to a special reception for MacDowell and her work hosted by the WVU Alumni Association on Aug. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Nutting Gallery at The Erickson Alumni Center.

For more information, contact the WVU Alumni Association at 304-293-4731 or visit



CONTACT: Tara Curtis, WVU Alumni Association

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