Tim Lowly

Tim Lowly
Tim Lowly
Lowly’s relationship with his daughter, Temma, a child with profound disabilities, is the central pillar of his art practice. Temma experienced a seizure that produced severe hypoxia when she was just a few days old, resulting in intense cerebral palsy.
Wrapped, Tim Lowly - Embedded
Wrapped
Acrylic on Panel, 15” x 15"
2004
Access Living Art Collection
Gift of Todd and Evelyn Arkebauer
BIO
The son of medical missionaries, Tim Grubbs Lowly (b. 1958, Hendersonville, NC) spent most of his youth in South Korea. In 1981, he received a BFA degree from Calvin College. The same year he married Sherrie Rubingh. Their daughter Temma was born in 1985. The family currently resides in Chicago. Since 1995, Lowly has been affiliated with North Park University in Chicago as gallery director, professor, and artist-in-residence. He is represented by Koplin Del Rio Gallery in Los Angeles.

THE ART
Lowly’s relationship with his daughter, Temma, a child with profound disabilities, is the central pillar of his art practice. Temma experienced a seizure that produced severe hypoxia when she was just a few days old, resulting in intense cerebral palsy. Her disability includes the inability to communicate or to move her body voluntarily, frequent seizures, and cortical blindness. She is now in her 20s.

Through his portraits of Temma, Lowly thinks about the question of human value and the nature of love. Temma is in some ways a mystery—there are few clues as to how she experiences the world. Yet Lowly often feels that she enters a state of rapture—a kind of pure presence that is denied most people. This is expressed in “Wrapped,” which when said out loud names this state of transcendence. The Lowly family has been challenged for years by people who say that Temma should be housed in an institution, having no ability to imagine a satisfying relationship between parent and child. The Lowlys have responded (in addition to keeping Temma at home) by asking whether a person must earn love, or, as they both believe, the simple fact of human existence qualifies all people for the possibility of unconditional love and acceptance.