Howard Weingarden (1942-2011) was a visionary painter with great talent, born in Detroit in 1942. He studied one year under Ken Bear in Miami Florida, a year under Don Brackett at Cass Tech in Detroit and won a National drawing award. An honorary scholarship provided him with 4 years of study at the Society for Arts and Crafts (now CCS). His teachers at CCS included Charles Culver and Sarkis Sarkissian. Weingarden had 5 consecutive solo exhibitions from 1965-1970 at the Renee Galleries located 297 East Grand Blvd., in Harmonie Park, Detroit.
For the early foundational years of the AWS, Howard occupied a basement room at the Detroit Artists Workshop at their building on the John Lodge Service drive at Warren. He had a deep respect and love for Jazz, often explored in his artworks. His dreamlike mannerist artworks drew inspiration from Pre-Raphaelite and Renaissance masters. Weingarden always followed his own muse. A spiritualized world of symbols and meaning was present throughout his work.
At the AWS, Howard met his lifelong friend James Semark. Together, and in workshops with others, they began a spiritual odyssey – a research group exploring the mind; the B’ahi faith, theosophy, occultism, UFOs and macrobiotics were some of their interests and passions. They maintained a theosophical reading group their entire lifetime; devoted to the writings and life of psychic Madame Blavatsky.
Howard was an artist of unique and dedicated talents, unconcerned with trends. He worked from dreams and visions, often using friends as subjects, serving a role in his symbolist landscapes. For his last twenty years, Howard struggled on the painting “Ghost Ship” – a metaphoric symbol for the life of an artist. His reclusive and dreamy nature may’ve cost him exhibitions and worldly profit. Howard and James died within a year of each other.