Meet the Artist Aaron Cowan Photographer

Meet the Artist Aaron Cowan Photographer

Several photographs by Aaron Cowan of Pullman are hanging in the foyer of Whitman County Library in Colfax as a lead-in to his appearance as guest artist in the November 1 Meet the Artist session at Whitman County Library at 7 p.m.

The Meet the Artist series, now in its seventh year, is sponsored by Colfax Arts Council with Whitman County Library.

Cowan said he plans to bring a few more of his photographs with him to the library and encourages people to look at his work on his website, He said he intends to discuss some of the technical processes of achieving great photographs so photographers might enjoy the session as well as those grounded in art.

Cowan is basically a self-taught photographer who has put together a library of books on everything from the works of Ansel Adams to “enhancements and software associated with digital photography.” He has been interested in photography for eight or nine years and has been more serious about the art for the past five years. His camera of choice is a Canon 5D-2 digital camera.

Surprisingly, Aaron has never had formal art training except for a couple of years as a youngster in music. While school sports interrupted his piano lessons, he continued playing and ended up teaching himself piano and mastering music he didn’t know he would ever be able to play. He agreed self tutoring is a matter of perseverance.

Cowan is an electrical engineer at Schweitzer Engineering in Pullman. He and his wife Brianna were married four months ago and live in Pullman.

Aaron originally hailed from Kentucky where he earned his undergraduate degree in engineering at Murray State University. He migrated west for a job at Micron in Boise, Idaho, and lived in Boise four or five years. Several of his buddies were heavily in to backpacking and hiking.

“They wrangled me into joining them,” he said.

And he discovered such wonders as the Sawtooth Mountains, Columbia Gorge and the Wallowas. He also discovered that southern Idaho and eastern Oregon provide an incredible resource for photography. He considers it an untapped area, noting that as far as he knows the national park system has not discovered it. He and his camera made a number of long hikes into the area.

He moved north into Moscow when he decided to earn a masters degree in electrical engineering at University of Idaho and the Palouse country has become the prime subject of his photography.

While his day job commands his time, he would like to try to put in a little time as a tour master for photo tours or workshops, maybe on weekends. Photo tours are a way to take in the artistic highlights of an area without having to spend a number of days finding them. He said he joined a tour in Utah and turned out to be the only person on his particular tour. He had a personal guide for a day and a half to some extraordinary sites.

The Meet the Artist series presents an artist from a different discipline each month in an informal setting. The series is held on the first Thursday of the month at the library and is sponsored by the Colfax Arts Council in conjunction with the Colfax branch of Whitman County Library. All programs are free and open to the public.





For a complete list of events and programs happening in all fourteen Whitman County Library branches, visit the Whitman County Library website or the library's events calendar or call the library at 397-4366 or 877-733-3375 toll-free.