Alumni on View: Robert Howsare (Printmaking ’09) at UMKC Gallery

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Robert “Bobby” Howsare (printmaking ’09) has returned to Kansas City after attending graduate school at Ohio University. The debut of his MFA thesis work in Kansas City is on view at the University of Missouri Kansas City Gallery of Art through February 15. Bobby’s printmaking background has evolved into an interdisciplinary practice that explores anomalies in systems through a variety of media.

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Bobby presents some very innovative projects and ideas about drawing and printing in his solo show.  The piece Drawing Apparatus manufactures lines that are reminiscent of the toy Spirograph, but here the artist uses turntables to push the pen along the paper. Drawing Apparatus has been recognized by publications like WIRED MagazineAbitare International Design Magazine, Juxtapose Magazine and HOW. Students can also see the Drawing Apparatus at work in the exhibition Line, Pattern, Repeat curated and featuring alumni in the fiber department’s new Warehouse building.

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Bobby was allured to come to Kansas City by the opportunity to work at  Hammerpress. He admired the company’s aesthetic and commercial approach printmaking. Bobby was able to intern at Hammerpress while he was a student at KCAI, and says much of growth and development as an artist came from his internship experience. Bobby was immediately drawn to the failures created from the hand-made production process, especially the incorrect registration lines accidentally created while screen printing.  The ripple effect of the overlapping images that occur on miss-prints are known as Moire Patterns. This inspired Bobby’s early work in graduate school.

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Although Bobby and I graduated from KCAI the same year, we hadn’t been introduced until he volunteered to be an alumni juror and mentor for this year’s Access Alumni Events. Bobby selected student work for an exhibition at Cara Y Cabezas that opened on February First Friday, and visited the studios of the selected students. Bobby provided insight about his recent experience in graduate school to several seniors who considered applying. I’ve been impressed by Bobby’s work, explorations and good nature.


Bobby will be speaking about his work at the closing reception of the Access Alumni Exhibition on March 2, from 3-5pm, at Cara Y Cabezas Contemporary (1714 Holmes) along with several exhibiting students.

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Bobby is a 2012-2013 Urban Culture Project resident at the Town Pavilion studios. Bobby will collaborate with other UCP residents, Kasico and Hunter Long, for a one night installation and performance that will take place at the Paragraph Gallery on February 23. To learn more about Bobby, visit

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