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Alumni Q&A: Ridley Howard, MFA '99

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Ridley Howard

Ridley Howard is a gallerist and studio artist, and a graduate of the MFA program.

How did SMFA help prepare you for the job you have today?

The faculty and student body were committed to serious conversations about art. There was a kind of intellectual ambition and rigor among the most serious students that prepared me for a long-term studio practice and the reality of the larger art world.

What did you enjoy or value most about your SMFA education?

I was serious about my work, and the faculty acknowledged that and took me seriously from day one. They wanted me to succeed in the studio, to push my work forward. They always treated me like a real artist, and considered my ideas and work with criticality and respect. It taught me to have a certain confidence, but also self-criticality

What are you working on in your current role that excites you?

I have maintained my own studio work since graduating in 1999. That always excites me. I have upcoming shows in Basel and LA. I also help run a gallery in Brooklyn called 106 Green, and I am currently starting a small gallery called Howard’s in Athens, Georgia. Both are really good ways to connect with other artists and to build community.