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Robert and Sara Ware Howsam

Meet our Aug/Sept members of the month: Robert and Sara Ware Howsam

Members for 27 years

Why did you become members of FAC?

Sara: Robert joined the FAC as Associate Executive Director in 1991. I loved the rich history of the Broadmoor Art Academy with colorful characters like Boardman Robinson. Through the Fine Arts Center we met fascinating people who are still dear friends today. Robert: Arriving at the FAC, I was impressed with the fantastic location atop a hill with sweeping lawns and spectacular views of Pikes Peak. I appreciated the architecture of the building expertly designed by John Gaw Meem with attention to detail and a blend of southwestern and art deco elements, unlike anything I’d ever seen.

When did your interest in the arts begin?

Robert: In elementary school, I remember a classroom mural with children fishing on a pond. I wanted to be on that pond. In high school, I visited the Denver Art Museum and explored art galleries. I discovered Danish Modern furniture with its clean lines and natural finishes. Later working in NY, I collected antique Shaker furniture – also known for economy of line and functional design. Sara: Just as soon as I could hold a crayon in my chubby fist. I’ve made art all my life. My Grandmother trained at the Cincinnati Art Academy and I enjoyed frequent excursions to the Cincinnati Art Museum with my mother.

What has been one of your favorite exhibits at the Fine Arts Center?

Sara: I enjoy exhibits which make me stretch featuring contemporary and conceptual pieces. But I really loved the Birger Sandzen Exhibit a few years ago – his unique interpretation of the western landscape, use of color and texture. He painted castles in the rocks. Robert: There was a wonderful exhibit called All New Women that Sara participated in. She painted striking portraits of several Colorado Springs philanthropists, including the three women founders of the CSFAC. I also enjoyed the spring exhibit of Broadmoor Art Academy Artists. We have many of these artists’ work in our personal collection.

What is your favorite work of art at the FAC?

Robert: When I first started work I had a small office with bare walls. I got to choose a painting from the collection. I went to the archives and immediately chose Richard Diebenkorn’s Urbana #4, a colorful abstract in the 1950’s California Style. It was such a welcoming sight when I entered my office. Sara: My favorite art works are always on display: the amazing murals. I especially love Archie Musick’s whimsical walls downstairs. I make a point of using the downstairs restroom just so I can visit it. And of course, the most recent mural, painted by my mentor and friend Eric Bransby.

What else do you like to do for fun in Colorado Springs?

Sara: I love a night when I don’t have to cook so we enjoy eating out at our locally owned restaurants downtown, in Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City. Robert: I enjoy hiking with our dog, Angie. Driving through Garden of the Gods never gets old. We also enjoy going to quirky jazz bars like Motifs, Cucuru and Ricos.