"welcome to my world of color and texture"
I divide my time between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Sonoran desert of Arizona, and I am constantly inspired by the changing color and textures of my environment and captivated by the universal patterns found in natural forms.
The pattern of scales in a pinecone or sequence of petals in a cactus flower are fascinating. To find your own voice as an artist you must look closely, investigate new materials and then express your experiences in new ways. It takes constant discipline and work, together with boundless optimism. I grew up in a home where knitting, crochet, and sewing fabrics were taught as necessary skills-but not associated with art.
Being exposed to the Contemporary Craft movement of the 60’s fired my imagination. I saw that the boundaries between craft and the so called “higher arts” of painting and sculpture were disappearing. This notion of breaking down elitist boundaries was carried on first in Europe with the Dada movement- followed by the Women’s Art Movement in New York, and then to the west coast, where artists were using the materials of my childhood and family heritage to deal with the formal elements of surface form and color. It celebrated the traditions of making things in women’s culture as content for art.
University of Nevada, Reno
Adding immeasurably to the new Pennington Health Sciences building at UNR is the “Biology is Technology” collection from artist Toni Lowden. These pieces, five paintings and one tapestry, blend references to biological cells, computer technology and the expanse of the universe. [The] Pennington Health Sciences … building is now unimaginable without them, especially the tapestry, which has been on view from the lobby for many events and celebrations, and never fails to garner praise and admiration.
David and Darby Walker
Toni Lowden’s Little Big Bang fiber sculpture was created in response to an exhibition of artist Leo Villareal’s LED sculptures shown at the Nevada Museum of Art.
Whereas Villareal’s work is activated by light, color, and movement, Lowden broke down the essential structure of the work and recreated it in beautiful metallic Toho beads floating on a dark blue background. Little Big Bang not only pays homage to Villareal but also reflects Toni’s interest in the microcosmic world.
During the summer of 2016, I took a course titled Summer Intensive: Tapestry Weaving with artist Toni Lowden at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. This introductory course in tapestry weaving was so enjoyable that I, along with several classmates, requested a second course be taught the following month […]. These courses were immensely successful for me and my growth as an artist and an individual. Toni taught us the basics of woven tapestry, explored the fundamentals of good design, and immersed us into a collaborative experience that truly fostered individual growth and exploration. I have gained new friends and artistic skills as a result of these courses but most importantly, I feel that I’ve taken a substantial step forward in my life as an artist. […] I sincerely hope to attend future tapestry weaving intensives taught by Toni Lowden.