Michener Art Museum

Alan Powell

Alan Powell. Photo courtesy of the artist.
BORN: July 29, 1952, La Porte, Indiana

“One of the things in the birth of the video art movement was the sense of the artist being able to control the medium. It was a dream. The idea of a personalized voice, instead of a corporate voice, was a very strong part of the video art movement. It involved the whole idea of public access to the airwaves.” Alan Powell, The Morning Call, February 13, 1997

Alan Powell has been working in video and electronic imaging since the early 1970s. He worked in collaboration with his wife, Connie Coleman, from 1979. Powell is also an accomplished painter, returning to the medium in 1994 after a twenty-three year hiatus.

In their videography work, Powell and Coleman utilize the video camera as a drawing tool, collecting source imagery which is transformed electronically into single-channel videotapes, sculptural multi-channel mixed media installations, digital photography and electronic printmaking. Their work explores the formal properties of electronic imaging while addressing issues of personal identity, gender, politics, and media spectacle. Recent work includes "Songs of a Woman's Place," a video portrait of the women and children who are victims of domestic violence and the staff that helps them begin the healing process, which was on view at the James A. Michener Art Museum in the Summer of 2002. Another recent work is "Just South of Here" a photographic journal of time spent in Central America and India in 2008.

During 2007 and 2008, Powell created painted “journals.” Journal 2007 includes 365 paintings made daily between January 1st and December 31st. Each painting, done on paper using watercolors and gouache, measures approximately 7 x11 inches and chronicles the artist's life during that year. Journal 2008 follows the artist through the death of his father, travels to India and Alabama to build homes wrecked by Hurricane Katrina, walks through the woods, and his daily life with Connie Coleman.

Note: This database entry reflects work done individually by Alan Powell. Please refer to the "Coleman and Powell" entry for work done in collaboration with his wife, Constance (Connie) Coleman, and to the "Connie Coleman" entry for work done exclusively by her.