Margaret Bowland’s (b. 1953, Burlington, NC) spellbinding and psychologically charged paintings bring viewers face to face with contentious culture while affirming the resilience and triumph of the human spirit. A masterful observer of life’s unpredictable nature, her work conveys universal themes through unusually specific insights. Bowland’s paintings explore the subtle and nuanced edges between strength and vulnerability, certainty and doubt, faith and disbelief. Her probing and deeply personal images call into question our societal expectations of gender, race, and beauty. 


Bowland is a faculty member at the New York Academy of Art. She recently had a solo exhibition, “Painting the Roses Red” at the Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh curated by Dexter Wimberly with an accompanying catalogue. Her work has been shown at museums including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Delaware Art Museum, and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.  It has appeared in the FX television show, Atlanta.  In 2009 she received major recognition as the People’s Choice Award Winner in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Her work is in collections including the collection of Spike Lee, The Estate of Peggy Cooper Cafritz, The Greenville County Museum of Art, The Frost Museum of Art and the Bennett Collection of Women Realists. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.