The Road Less Traveled Exhibition Series

SOREHEAD HILL: JESSE HOWARD

Matthew Higgs

Scott Reeder

Sep. 20, 2017 - Jan. 7, 2018

Jesse “Outlaw” Howard (1885–1983) lived most of his life in Fulton, Missouri, and was known for the large environment of painted signs he created there. His signs bear traces of his varied life experiences, including interpretations of biblical verse, commentary on local and national politicians, and his low opinion of vandals who stole his signs.

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Ends Jan. 2018

About this exhibition

Jesse “Outlaw” Howard (1885–1983) lived most of his life in Fulton, Missouri, and was known for the large environment of painted signs he created there. His signs bear traces of his varied life experiences, including interpretations of biblical verse, commentary on local and national politicians, and his low opinion of vandals who stole his signs.

In 1977, the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) celebrated Howard’s artistry and his undaunted commitment to free speech. The Institute invited Howard to speak with students and to show his work during a celebration of “Jesse Howard Day.”

For more than 20 years, Higgs has shown consistent ways to supports artists, artist-groups, and curators, through his writing, interviews, curating, and teaching, as well as his reinvention and on-going development of White Columns as a space for people to experiment with the presentation of new ideas and work. For this exhibition, Higgs lent his expertise to reinvent Sorehead Hill.

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Jesse Howard, 1972. Photo: L. B. Burrow. John Michael Kohler Arts Center Collection, gift of Kohler Foundation Inc., in partnership with the Kansas City Art Institute.
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The Road Less Traveled Conference

Dig deeper into conference sessions, view panelist bios and abstracts, read session descriptions, and continue the conversation in session forums by visiting The Road Less Traveled conference portal.

Through this web portal, you will be able to share new ideas and broaden the collective knowledge and appreciation of this unique style of art making that was the focus of a yearlong series of exhibitions at the Arts Center.

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This exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding was also provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Kohler Trust for the Arts and Education, Kohler Foundation, Inc., Herzfeld Foundation and Sargento Foods Inc. The Arts Center thanks its many members for their support of exhibitions and programs through the year. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) (nonprofit) organization; donations are tax deductible.

The Road Less Traveled 50th anniversary program was conceived by Amy Horst, deputy director for programming. The exhibitions series was organized and curated by Arts Center Curator Karen Patterson. Special thanks to Emily Schlemowitz, assistant curator, for the curation of Driftless: Nick Engelbert & Ernest Hüpeden and Folk & Fable: Levi Fisher Ames & Albert Zahn, and Amy Chaloupka, guest curator of The World in a Garden: Nek Chand and Volumes: Stella Waitzkin.