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Fantasy artist John Howe meets fans and media in Tampere – An art-themed discussion panel for Tolkien enthusiasts also available

Canadian fantasy artist John Howe arrives at Tampere Hall to open his first solo art exhibition in Finland. Known for illustrating Tolkien’s classic works and serving as a concept artist for the films based on these books, Howe will meet his fans during the exhibition’s opening weekend on July 6th and 7th. Additionally, Howe will…

Canadian John Howe is one of the world’s most renowned illustrators of fantasy literature, especially the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The award-winning artist is coming to Tampere to open his first solo art exhibition in Finland. The exhibition, The Art of John Howe: Journeys through the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, features over 250 artworks from his extensive career. The exhibition will be open at Tampere Hall from July 6th to August 18th, 2024.

Howe will meet fans during the first weekend of the exhibition. The artist will officially open the exhibition on Saturday, July 6th at 10 am and will be among the first visitors to explore it. At the exhibition shop, books, posters, cards, and other items illustrated by Howe will be available for purchase. Howe will be signing autographs and taking photos with visitors at Tampere Hall’s Winter Garden at the following times:

Saturday, July 6th: from 10:45 am to 12 pm, 1 pm to 2 pm, and 3 pm to 4 pm

Sunday, July 7th: from 11 am to 12 pm, 1 pm to 2 pm, and 3 pm to 4 pm

Additionally, Howe will participate in a discussion panel at Tampere Hall’s Small Auditorium on Tuesday, July 9th, starting at 4 pm. The topic of the discussion is “Tolkien as an Inspiration for Art.” Howe will be joined by the Artistic Director and CEO of Tampere Theatre and the director of The Lord of the Rings play, which premieres at Tampere Hall in August, Mikko Kanninen. The remaining panelists will be announced later. Admission to the event is free.

Media Interviews

Members of the media will have the opportunity to interview and photograph John Howe at Tampere Hall and preview the art exhibition before it opens to the public on Friday, July 5th, between 12 pm and 3 pm. To participate, please register by sending a message to Tampere Hall’s Communications Specialist. In your message, include the media outlet you work for, your preferred interview time, and any special requests. The exact interview time (approximately 20 minutes per media outlet) will be confirmed to you later.

Ms. Elsa Vähänen
Communications Specialist
Tampere Hall Ltd
Tel. +358 40 551 2739

The Art of John Howe: Journeys through the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien

John Howe was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1957. He studied illustration in Strasbourg and Paris, France, and currently resides in Switzerland. Howe has worked as a freelance artist since 1981. Howe has illustrated numerous books, posters, maps, calendars, and board games set in the imaginative world of Middle-earth.

As chief conceptual designer, Howe played a determining role alongside illustrator Alan Lee in shaping the visual aesthetics of director Peter Jackson’s acclaimed The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies on the big screen from 2001 to 2014. Howe has also worked as concept artist for the fantasy series The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power (2022–) as well as the upcoming anime fantasy film The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, scheduled to be released in December 2024.

In addition to Middle-earth, Howe has illustrated famous fantasy worlds created by authors such as Robin HobbTerry Pratchett, and George R. R. Martin, as well as many children’s books and his own works, such as Myth & Magic: The Art of John Howe (2001), John Howe Artbook (2004), and A Middle-earth Traveler (2018).

Howe is known for his impressive depictions of characters, landscapes, and architecture. The techniques he employs vary from detailed graphite drawings to delicate aquarelle paintings. Howe defines his approach to fantasy art as imaginative realism, blending historical accuracy and inspiration from nature, myth, and legend.

The exhibition at Tampere Hall showcases the artist’s work throughout his career and highlights how the roots of fantasy literature extend through early myth and medieval legend, as well as to national epics such as Finland’s very own Kalevala. The art exhibition has been curated in collaboration with the artist by Diane and Jean-Jacques Launier, the founders of the Art Ludique museum in Paris.

The exhibition was first displayed from June of last year until January of this year at the Hélène and Edouard Leclerc centre for contemporary art in Landerneau, France, where it was admired by over 120,000 delighted visitors. The exhibition at Tampere Hall is designed by exhibition architect Taina Väisänen.

Tickets for the exhibition are on sale at Tampere Hall and ticket sales channels. The exhibition is open from July 6th to August 18th on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10am to 6pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5pm. It is closed on Mondays. Ticket sales end an hour before closing time. 

The exhibition is suitable for the whole family. The entrance fee starts from €20 for adults and from €18 for students, pensioners, the unemployed, and children (aged 5–16). A family ticket costing €65 is also available, allowing entrance for 2 adults and 2–4 children. Children under the age of 5 enter for free.

Tickets and information