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                                  Faith Lowell (1922 - 2015) 


Born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1922, Faith McNaughton Lowell and her family lived in several midwestern communities during her youth, including Duluth. Following high school graduation, Faith attended commercial art school in Chicago where she frequently visited the Chicago Art Institute to study the paintings, especially those of George Inness and Winslow Homer. She next studied at Wheaton College and began illustrating nursery books and church school materials.


In 1946, Faith married John Lowell of Hastings, MN. The couple returned to St. Paul where they raised five daughters. During the years of mothering a young family, Faith continued to work at home illustrating children’s books and workbooks for Scripture Press, a publisher of religious education books and texts.


Her passion and talent for painting emerged through the years and, in 1964, Faith discontinued her career as an illustrator and began to exhibit her paintings. For many years Faith worked in her home-based studio overlooking several acres of open land, gathering inspiration for her paintings on daily walks there and through nearby Battle Creek Park.  Frequent visits to the North Shore also provided ideas.  During this time she also became part of an enclave of visual artists in St. Paul’s Lowertown district who supported each other and worked side by side in a studio near Mears Park. One of the group’s leaders was the late Paul Kramer, a highly regarded Minnesota painter.


Ruth Oseid Johnson, a fellow painter and longtime friend, said Lowell loved the outdoors and painted in meadows and forests, including at campsites in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and along the North Shore of Lake Superior.  “She lived her art and it showed,” Johnson said. “She delighted in it, was marvelous at it and she shared everything that she knew.”


Faith worked in oils from her own photographs and sketches. Her home and studio were alive with the works of many of her favorite artists.  Lowell’s work is represented in a number of large institutional collections, including those at the University of Minnesota, 3M Co. and the Hazelden Foundation. 


Lowell, who continued painting until she reached 91, died Nov. 12, 2015 at age 93.

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