The artist has a deep and committed relationship with the land and various cultures of Hawaii. Having grown up in Kailua Oahu, he spent much of his time in the ocean and exploring the forests of the windward side. The natural beauty and melting-pot history of Hawaii is essential to his artwork and value system of curiosity and pluralism
After undergraduate school and a traveling stint playing soccer in Europe, Kowalke formally studied Fine Art, English, and the Natural History of the Hawaiian Islands at the University of Hawaii. He wrote his masters thesis while creating a series of paintings, sculptures and short stories about ecology and values in the island culture. See his community page for examples.
He has also had more than twenty five professional art exhibits beginning at age sixteen. He has shown in Hawaii, Europe and in the mainland United States. Kowalke is heavily influenced by Greek, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese cultures. Nuances of both ancient and modern aspects of these cultures can be traced in his work through style, imagery and philosophy of approaching the creative act. Several of his master teachers hailed from the aforementioned cultures.
The artist taught in the public and private schools in Hawaii for twelve years incorporating an interdisciplinary project based learning style inspired by John Gatto and Howard Gardner to name only a few. He taught at Kailua High School, Punahou, Parker School and Hawaii Preparatory Academy.
Five years ago, he and a board of trustees created a company devoted to the integration of Art, Science and Health education. The public artworks created emphasize the island ecosystems and a holistic psychology based in the belief of interconnectedness. Art In Sight has completed five major installations around the island of Hawaii, working with all ages and a variety of communities, including Waikoloa Elementary School, Kohala High School, Hawaii Preparatory Academy.