Janice Lowry

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Janice Lowry
Born (1946-03-30)March 30, 1946
Phoenix, Arizona
Died September 20, 2009(2009-09-20) (aged 63)
Santa Ana, California
Education Art Center College of Design, BFA with honors, 1979; MFA in painting, 1980
Known for Assemblage, Collage, Painting
Spouse(s) Jan Gilbert, m. 1965; Jon Gothold, m. 1983
Website janicelowry.com

Janice Lowry (March 30, 1946 – September 20, 2009) was an American visual artist who worked in Arizona and California and was known primarily for her assemblages, collages, paintings, and the elaborately visual journals that she kept throughout her life.


Lowry's highly biographical artwork is rooted in her early family life. She was one of five children whose mother married 7 times. Family instability and difficultly figure prominently in her work. At the age of 11, she started keeping a diary and continued to do so until 2007, with the exception of one decade.[1]

In 1965, Lowry married Jan Gilbert, whom she had known in high school. They soon had two children, Brandon and Kevin. Lowry painted at home and also worked for interior decorators.[2] It was during this time that Lowry set up her first studio and started to show her work.[3] In 1973, Lowry moved to California when her husband's company transferred him to Whittier. In 1975, Lowry and Gilbert divorced.[2]

In 1983, Lowry married advertising art director Jon Gothold. Her journal styles began to evolve to include comic-style panels and lists of thoughts. By the mid 1990s, the journals developed into fully formed art objects, with heavily collaged and painted covers enclosing a mix of painting, essays, stamp art and clippings.[2]

In 2007, on advice from Pat House, executive director of the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton, Lowry began looking for a way to share and preserve her 126 volume collection of journals. In 2007, the journals were made part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art.[3]

Lowry died on September 20, 2009, at the age of 63, from liver cancer.[1]

Education and career[edit]



  • Cypress College
  • Art Institute of Orange County[1]

Selected exhibitions[edit]

Janice Lowry: Water Collection & Journals (2008)
Grand Central Gallery, Santa Ana, CA

The OsCene (2006-7)
Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach, CA

Funktional Art (2006)
Amorviejo Art Gallery, Santa Ana, CA

A Few Of Our Favorite Things (2006-7)
Santa Ana College Arts Gallery at the Santora Building

The Art of Remembering: Words and Images (2007)
The Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton, CA

Janice Lowry: A One Person Show (2007)
Coastline Community College, Huntington Beach, CA[4]

Art Journals, circa 1973-2007[edit]

Lowry switched from keeping smaller personal diaries to larger format (7½ by 9½ inch) journals around 1974. The journals contain both text and artworks. The artworks are in the form of sketches, paintings, and collages, rendered in ink, pencil, watercolors, acrylic paint, crayon, marker pens, and ink stamps. Inside the journals, she recorded phone numbers, studies, plans, and diagrams, tucking in loose papers, letters, photographs, and objects.[5]

She included topics in her journals such as travel, thoughts, lists, dreams, finances, critiques, correspondence, timelines, and relationship with her mother. The journals also include sketches of vacation spots, objects around the house, studies, people. She also let her children sketch in her journals.[3]

Lowry was named the Orange Count region's best visual artist of 2007 by the OC Weekly for her assemblage creations.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Nelson, Valerie J. (2009-10-02). "Janice Lowry Gothold dies at 63; artist and journal writer taught in Orange County". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-03-29. 
  2. ^ a b c Larsen, Peter (November 19, 2007). "Smithsonian Drawn to O.C. Artist's Life". Orange County Register. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "A Finding Aid to the Janice Lowry Papers, 1957-2009". Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Exhibits". Janice Lowry. janicelowry.com. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Edwards, Owen (November 2009). "Drawn From Life: Artist Janice Lowry's illustrated diaries record her history--and ours". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 

External links[edit]