Archives for posts with tag: prints
All art in the post © Jonathan Bean

All art in the post © Jonathan Bean

Jonathan Bean now lives in Harrisburg, PA, but he grew up in Fleetwood and so, of course, he has often been in Kutztown. The gifted illustrator and author is returning Kutztown to share his new picture book Big Snow at Firefly Bookstore, Friday, Dec 6th from 6-8pm.

BigSnowcover
Big Snow has wonderful reviews. Publisher’s Weekly writes “another terrific offering from Bean   -his subtly rhythmic prose and elegant, astute watercolors hit just the right notes of comedy, suspense, and fantasy.”

“This delightful picture book… begs to be read aloud.” - School Library Journal

flakes
The town pictured in Big Snow looks a lot like Kutztown. We see lovely watercolor images of familiar-looking row houses, several Lutheran church steeples, the smokestacks from the old foundry. Matthew Williams of Firefly Books pointed out the most conclusive evidence, “Look at the water tower,” he said, “and you will see the letters ‘K U T Z’!

kutztower

Jonathan Bean’s prints can be seen in Harrisburg at Robinson’s Rare Books and Prints. He also sells prints at his online Etsy store. One of his charming works is the limited edition linoleum print of the Big Snow boy.

Firefly Bookstore, 230 W. Main, Kutztown is a wonderful place, a true independent bookstore, supportive of local authors and illustrators. I love the place. Meet Jonathan Bean there 6 – 8 pm on Friday, December 6th. There will be children’s activities and cookies.

Note: Lisa Scheid of The Reading Eagle wrote an interesting story about Jonathan. It is worth reading and can be found here.

20131022-173831.jpg
Irving Herrera creates wonderful images of beautiful woman. What is so remarkable about his artwork is that he appreciates the beauty of the indigenous and mixed-race woman of Oaxaca.

20131022-174806.jpg
Throughout Mexico the leggy newscasters you see on T.V. and the models on billboards, calendars, and magazines often look like pure-blooded Europeans. I took a walk looking for examples and found this mind-boggling image in the lobby of a liposuction clinic.

20131022-220746.jpg
And here is a more typical image from a dress shop window…

20131022-221602.jpg
Such images of so-called ‘female perfection’ bombard the men and women of Oaxaca daily. Dark, broadbodied Indigenous women might play the sympathetic maids, but not the love interest in telanovelas (soap operas.) Irving was born to an indigenous Mixteco family in the high mountain village of Huajuapan de Leon in 1984. He came to Oaxaca and studied with the master printmaker Shinzaburo Takeda.

20131022-182332.jpg Today, Irving Herrera is an artist on a roll. He illustrated the current issue (Oct. 2013) of the magazine, El Jolgorio. It is a special Oaxaca Poetry issue and can be downloaded here. Irving recently had a roomful of his prints exhibited at MACO, The Museo del Arte Comtemporaneo de Oaxaca. He has twice won ‘Young Creative Artist’ grants from the State of Oaxaca to complete the series of oversized portraits he calls, ‘Senora Matanzas.’ I don’t know how to translate this, maybe,’ Killer Women?’

20131022-182403.jpg
He told me he carves these portraits from models directly into the wood in a matter of hours. Then he crowns the portrait with the bones of a slaugthered animal, often a goat. The senoras’ seductive expressions are jarringly juxtapozed with the formal posture and dress of the Porfiato (Mexico’s version of Victorian era.) Irving says he’s mixing memories from the slaughterhouses of his boyhood town and the prints of Jose Guadalupe Posada. This past weekend Irving travelled into the mountains accompanied by his beloved teacher Maestro Takeda. The two artists were honored guests at a regional festival in Irving’s pueblo, Huajuapan de Leon, were the woman are so very beautiful.

20131022-230329.jpgIn Oaxaca, Irving Herrera and his talented companeros of Gabinete Grafico studio can be found at 307 Xincotencatl.

936538_615883275098991_432818804_n

Sebastian Fund is an artist on the move. He was born in Argentina, moved to Mexico as a child, and is now beginning an artist’s residency in Havana, Cuba. He collects abandoned shoes. He deconstructs them, inks them up and prints them. The remarkable results evoke the humanity of the individuals that once walked in those shoes.

999647_596091707078148_998478094_n

Javier Arjona is the second half of the Taller (Studio) Medula Negra of Xalapa, Mexico. He does woodcuts. He likes to use a technique he calls placa perdida. A single plank is carved and printed, color after color, for as many a six colors. Because there is no turning back with this method some U.S. printmakers call it a “suicide print.”

MedulaNegra

I met these two dedicated young artists in July in Xalapa. They gave me a studio tour, and we drank a toast of mescal at their printing press.  They have invested heavily in their studio and put in long hours at the press. I wrote about Medula Negra for the online  journal, Printeresting. They lent me a batch of their small works to exhibit at Kutztown University’s Rohrbach Library.

The press at Medula Negra, Xalapa. Photo by Tirso Pérez

The press at Medula Negra, Xalapa. Photo by Tirso Pérez

They have a killer website: www.medulanegra.com. Their photographer friend Tirso Pérez did a photo shoot of the studio. His black and white photos are far superior to mine, so I will share a few of his fine works here. More of the photoshoot entitled “Un Dia de Trabajo” (One Day of Work) can be found here on Medula Negra’s Facebook page.

Javier checking a proof. Photo by Tirso Pérez.

Javier checking a proof. Photo by Tirso Pérez.

Sebastian preparing shoes to print. Photo by Tirso Pérez

Sebastian preparing shoes to print. Photo by Tirso Pérez

Medula Negra: Grabados Pequenos de Xalapa is on exhibit until Oct. 16 on the 2nd floor of Kutztown University’s Rorhbach Library in the Voices & Choices Gallery space.

The exhibit at KU's Rohrbach Library runs through Oct 16.

The exhibit at KU’s Rohrbach Library runs through Oct 16.

Drivebylogo

Linsay Derecola

Lindsay Derecola

The Legendary Drive By Press,  touring woodcut printmakers, will print in Kutztown, PA, next week. They will do a brief residency in the KU Printmaking Studio and present an illustrated lecture: Thursday, Sept 12 6pm @ 120 Sharadin, Free and open to the public. Here is the scoop thanks to this guest post by Lindsay Derecola, KU student and President of the Art Club:

Drive By Press is a portable print shop made up of artists and designers that believe process is just as important as the results. Quality over quantity; while we live currently in a world surrounded by the desire for instant gratification. Drive By Press believes that craft is and always will be top priority. It is about doing what you love because you love it, not to be the next superstar in the art world or to make lots of money.”

29_n copyI found out about Drive By Press through Evan Summer, Printmaking Professor at Kutztown University. He mentioned he met Greg Nanney and heard about this amazing tour he puts on with his crew. The idea of a portable print shop was intriguing, so naturally as I explored their website and social media outlets, I was becoming even more excited over their work and their mission. I persisted in making it official to have Drive By Press come to Kutztown to bestow their wisdom and creativity on the student body. Thankfully, everything worked out marvelously.

36_n

Founded in 2006 by Greg Nanney and Joseph Velasquez, the Drive By Press team finds the best designers and artists to work along side them on their mobile printing journey across the country. They have two studio locations, one in Austin, Texas, the other in New York, NY. They are currently on tour doing educational and promotional trips to “spread the ink” about their purpose and passion. They will be making their next stop at Kutztown University on Thursday, Sept.12 and Friday, Sept. 13 in the Sharadin Arts building’s Printmaking Studio, Room 12G.

holga

During their stay they will be inhabiting the University’s Printmaking studio that Evan Summer, Professor of Printmaking at Kutztown University, has opened up for their special visit. Drive By Press will be in 12G from 12-6pm doing demonstrations on various printmaking processes, techniques, talking about history of their medium and their process of printing t-shirts. At 6pm, Thursday 9/12 in room 120 Sharadin, they will be presenting the history of their company and how they have evolved and progressed through the years. The Printmaking Studio will be open for all students Friday for additional demos, or just to say hello to the Drive By Press crew. Please stop by to welcome Greg Nanney and crew Thurs Sept. 12 and Friday Sept. 13.

1185446_10151596631755592_1183164357_n

T-shirts and prints for sale for $20. Bring your own t-shirt and have it printed for $10! Don’t forget to spread the ink!

Hypnotic Skull (detail) linoleum cut © Bill Fick

Hypnotic Skull (detail) linoleum cut © Bill Fick

Bill Fick wrote the book on printmaking. Actually, he co-wrote the book, with Beth Grabowski, Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials & Processes. He is a part of the group known as the Outlaw Printmakers.

Bill Fick, headshot, (detail) photograph © Bill Fick

Bill Fick, headshot, (detail) photograph © Bill Fick

Bill Fick draws monsters. He is a nice guy. I met him one rainy night at the Atomic Cowboy bar in St. Louis. Tom Huck was throwing a party and Bill Fick was among the invited Outlaws. I remember a protester outside the bar carrying a sign saying, “STRIPPERS ARE BAD.” The bar was so crowded that I never saw the strippers; maybe they were bad.

Fick's Printmaking text, cover image by Sean Starwars

Fick’s Printmaking textbook, cover image by Sean Starwars

Bill Fick teaches printmaking, drawing, and comics at Duke University. He has set his mind to building something off-campus in Durham, N.C. He has a vision of a self-supporting printmaking studio/work space/ exhibition space, with artist access to equipment, workshops, and classes. There is nothing like it in the area. It will be super and it will be called SUPERGRAPHIC!

YOU CAN OWN A BILL FICK MONSTER!

Bill Fick’s art has been exhibited all over the world. He’s won a National Endowment for the Arts award. His monsters are included in famous collections such as Harvard’s Fogg Museum. His art can fetch thousands of dollars. But his SUPERGRAPHIC dream is your opportunity to own an original Bill Fick artwork for a donation of as little as $35.

pigbat-animated-smaller The details of the SUPERGRAPHIC project can be found here.  If you want to learn more, or donate, check that out. Also check out billfick.com where, oddly enough, there is a photo of Kutztown printmaking grad Josh Dannin working on a monster print project.

"Homer Johnson"  linoleum cut, © Bill Fick

“Homer Johnson” linoleum cut, © Bill Fick

Jim Haverkamp made a charming 7-minute documentary of Bill Fick at work, Anatomy of a Linocut. Another video by Frith Gowan and Ayanna Seals lets Bill Fick speak his mind. It is called Controlling the Monster. He admits, “I am fascinated with the idea of the monster… ugliness… misunderstanding… For me, making the monster may be some kind of response to the constant drone of bad news.”

april

April Vollmer demonstrates how to carve registration notches on woodblock.

April Vollmer recently taught a two-day Moku Hanga workshop at the Printmaking Center of New Jersey.  KU Prof Elaine Cunfer and I took the class along with five other students. I know a bit about Japanese prints, but had never tried my hand at the traditional Moku Hanga woodblock printing technique. April, a great teacher and printmaker, has travelled to Japan to perfect her skills. She has an extensive gallery of her prints online at aprilvollmer.com.

Moku Hanga print "Migration" ©2008 April Vollmer, from www.aprilvollmer.com

“Migration”  Moku Hanga print © 2008 April Vollmer

Moku Hanga is nothing like my prior printmaking experience. I am used to the down and dirty printing of Oaxaca or Tom Huck’s Evil Prints. Moku Hanga is far more refined. I came to class dressed in my ink-stained black shirt and raggedy painting jeans. I learned there is no need to dress like a hobo to print Moku Hanga.  The pigments are water-based and do not stain clothes like oil-based relief printing inks.

2 horizontal pattern prints © 2011 April Vollmer

2 horizontal pattern prints based on nature © 2011 April Vollmer

April suggests beginners might start printing with tube watercolors, but a more economical color can be had by mixing pigments. She uses the pigments from Art Guerra. For wood and carving tools she recommends McClain’s Printmaking Supplies. The wood we used was shina plywood, imported from Japan. The shina and carving tools are rather expensive. A small, 8 by 10 inch, piece of shina ply costs $6.35. April says the expense is due to the currency imbalance between the Japanese yen and the U.S. dollar. If you have never used real shina ply, it is a joy to carve. McClain’s will send you a free sample; find details here.

Ukiyo-e print by Utamaro, circa 1800, printed with mica  background. (Wikipedia)

Ukiyo-e print by Utamaro, circa 1800, printed with mica background. (Wikipedia)

April showed us master Ukiyo-e prints by the likes of Morunobu and Utamaro before demonstrating her technique. One of the secrets of the art is cutting a precise registration corner and landing pad for the printing paper. The best paper, naturally, comes from Japan.

Blue Vortex, woodblock, (detail) © 2005 April Vollmer

Blue Vortex, woodblock, (detail) © 2005 April Vollmer

More of April’s tips: Your work table should be about navel level. Printing is not done with a press, but by rubbing the baren, a light weight disk, on the back of the paper. Printing starts from a balanced standing position with a quick burst of energy using upper body strength. April says she can print faster with a baren than printmakers who use a press. She claims she can print an edition of 25 in one morning and I believe her.

McCloskey making prints of St. Francis. photo: E. Cunfer

K. McCloskey making prints of St. Francis. photo: Elaine Cunfer

She also demonstrated the proper way to hold the paper, set up one’s workspace, and sharpen cutting tools. There was one student who had no prior printmaking experience; even he came away with successful prints. We managed to do an edition of two-color prints with a single block of shina by carving the second color on the reverse side. If you have the opportunity to study with April Vollmer, you can learn a great deal in a brief amount of time.

April Vollmer pleased with her student's prints at Printmaking Center of NJ

April Vollmer seems pleased with her students’ prints at Printmaking Center of NJ

For more insights into the history and current state of Moku Hanga (also spelled mokuhanga) check out April Vollmer’s comprehensive essay in Art in Print. There is also a brief (4-minute) documentary video filmed by Dempsey Rice of April Vollmer at work, here.

……………………………………………………

UPDATE: Dec.12, 2012: April Vollmer sent a note about the post above:  “I hardly recognize myself your review is so flattering, but it is great to have someone describe the class. I always have fun, and people learn a lot. I always talk about the history, and how the technique fits into Japanese culture. I do hesitate about the refinements, it can be overwhelming. But my printmaking career (if one can call it that!) has been about making mokuhanga accessible, less precious, but without throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Good tools and good paper are such a pleasure, and actually much more affordable than, say, coated digital paper, computer software, etc. I paid $120 for my large soainomi (fan-beveled chisel), but I have had it for 20 years already!

Printmaking in NY is very different from Mexico, and that is completely different from Japan…The shina (basswood) plywood from Japan is good not only because of its even grain, but because the glue between plys is very thin and waterproof. Printing wet makes more demands on the wood than oil base does. Shina is also very lightweight which I appreciate, having to carry it around all the time!”

She also noted that she has met the legendary Tom Huck and went bowling with him when they both taught at Frogman’s Print Workshop in South Dakota.

Rostislav “Russ” Spitkovsky by Kevin McCloskey 2012

Russ Spitkovsky makes things happen. He came to Kutztown as one of the 9 artists in the 2012 Print Invitational at the Miller Gallery.  The founder of the cutting edge art magazine Carrier Pigeon hung artwork from the latest issue at the Eckhaus Gallery on Main St. He circled back this week as a visiting artist to spend time with students.

oil monotype illustration by Russ Spitkovsky for “Hall of Mirrors”

Carrier Pigeon is an artist-driven publication. Russ and friends began it after grad school at SVA’s Illustration as Visual Essay MFA Program. Each issue has works by six fine artists, plus six writers, and six illustrators.

Carrier Pigeon cover by Cannonball Press, Martin Mazorra & Mike Houston

The magazine has included original etchings and woodcuts by Russ and guest artists including Marshall Arisman, Bruce Waldman and Frances Jetter. KU Prof. Evan Summer has contributed to several issues.

Russ speaking to overflow crowd in KU Print studio. Photo by Evan Summer

Russ shared some mind-boggling stories. Like the one about a meth addict who tells his wife he’s spending their life savings importing alpacas, but the alpacas are being held up in customs. There are no alpacas; he’s building a giant meth factory. The factory bursts into flames and meth maker gets encased in glass and, well, I don’t want to ruin the ending. The full story by Ryan Scamehorn called “Hall of Mirrors” can be found in Carrier Pigeon #3. It is fiction; I hope.

Illustration by Marshall Arisman for “Good Dog” by Erin Browne, Carrier Pigeon #7

Digression: Many years ago I sent a book idea to Lawrence Ferlenghetti’s City Lights Press. A few weeks later I got the best rejection letter ever. It said, ‘Your project is so interesting, you should publish it yourself. We are swamped publishing our own friends. Start your own press. Here are some resources…‘  Russ Spitkovsky never got that memo from City Lights, but certainly he embodies the D.I.Y. publishing spirit.

Kevin McCloskey, Moe Tierney, Russ Spitkovsky. Photo by Evan Summer

Russ was born in the Ukraine. Why do so many amazing printmakers come from Eastern Europe?  KU’s Print Invitational includes Michael Goro from Russia, Ivanco Talevski from Macedonia, Endi Poskovic from Sarajevo, and Russ. It occurred to me perhaps these artists find core concepts difficult to express in English and are therefore driven to excel at graphic communication. Russ provided a better insight into why so many extraordinary artists come from places once under the Soviet sphere of influence. Growing up in the Ukraine he showed a precocious talent for art. He was plucked from preschool and put in an art academy. He was drawing the human figure from plaster casts at the age of four.

Illustration by Russ Spitkovsky from Central Booking, his self-published visual essay.

On the night of January 3, 2009, Russ was walking down a Brooklyn street. The police stopped and searched him and found he was carrying a knife. It was an ordinary knife purchased at Home Depot. The NYPD decided it was a lethal weapon, “a gravity knife,” and threw him in jail. He spent the next 32 hours in an overcrowded holding cell at Brooklyn’s Central Booking. Charges were dropped, but Russ made art from the experience. Upon his release, drawing from memory, he transformed that grotesque night into a visual essay in book form. He published “Central Booking” via the print-on-demand publisher Blurb. The book was not a financial success, but led him to explore other self-publishing options.

Russ loves working with the likes of Martin Mazorra and Mike Houston of Brooklyn’s Cannonball Press. Russ calls Cannonball Press the pioneers of the indy press and affordable art movements. Russ advises art and illustration students not to hole up in their studios after graduation. “Find a co-op print shop; work among other artists.” He said the community of Robert Blackburn’s  NYC printmaking studio saved his sanity. He was able to get instant feedback on his art and stay in a creative loop.

Today, Russ works not only with graphic artists, but an ever-expanding community of playwrights, jugglers, Coney Island sideshow performers and puppeteers. Strange doors keep opening for Russ. Recently someone gifted Carrier Pigeon with a building in Gutenberg, NJ. To keep up with Carrier Pigeon news and events visit their Facebook page.

Justin Sanz, Eckhaus workers Nicole and Megan, Russ. Photo from http://www.eckhausgallery.org/

If you are fortunate enough to be in Kutztown, PA, get to Eckhaus to see the original art from Carrier Pigeon. There are copies of the latest issues for sale. Each issue costs $25. Twenty-five bucks is a lot of money for a magazine, but not a lot for a work of art.

Patrick McCloskey was born in Killycolman, County Donegal, Ireland. He was my grandfather. He immigrated to the US around 1915. His family in Ireland called him “Paddy the Yank.” He celebrated his birthday on St. Patrick’s Day. My middle name is Patrick, after him. There are many Pat McCloskeys. I’ve got a wife named Patt, an Uncle Pat, and cousins Pat.

St Patrick Driving the Elephants from Ireland ©2010 Kevin McCloskey

My parents were born in the USA, but St. Patrick’s Day was a big deal growing up in our Irish-American household in Elizabeth, NJ. Each spring, the family would fast for the 40 days of Lent. We didn’t stop eating, but we ate less. One pious year, maybe 1961, I went to Lenten mass every morning, meaning nothing but water for breakfast. We’d have a very small lunch. I remember my Dad eating dry saltines. At dinner there was no meat, not even hot dogs, as the days stretched toward Easter. There was no dessert, either.

The Miracle of St. Patrick’s Socks. linoleum print ©2011 KMc

March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, generally falls in the middle of Lent. In early March the parish priests at St. Gen’s would announce that Archbishop Boland was prepared to bless us with a dispensation from Lenten observances for St. Patrick’s Day. There was a catch. First, there would be an extra collection for a very worthy project, and if the collection was robust we got a one-day free pass. We always won the St. Patrick’s Day pass!

After three weeks of fasting, we had a smashing big dinner of beef brisket and boiled potatoes with baby pearl onions in the peas. There was butter on everything. We had Irish soda bread made from cousin Kitty Gallagher’s recipe. Dessert was Mom’s Dundee pound cake filled with walnuts and cherries. Dad would have a Scotch, Mom sipped a Rye and Ginger. The four kids got a dash of ginger ale to toast the glory of St. Patrick.

The Last Platypus in Ireland © Kevin McCloskey 2012

Years later, a priest told me my memory of this dispensation proclamation was “absolute rubbish.” Archbishop Boland wouldn’t do such a thing. Next, some theologians decreed that St. Patrick never existed, or, at best, he’s an amalgam of Gaelic-speaking missionaries. The heck with them. In my mind, St. Patrick will always be a beloved symbol of my heritage. I see him as a canny and powerful man who out-wizarded the druids at their own game.

My St. Patrick print series started in 2010 in St. Louis, Mo. I went to study woodblock printing with the great artist Tom Huck at Evil Prints. Huck has a diabolical persona. His printing press is named for the British Satanist Aleister Crowley. My fellow students were carving Huckish prints of devils and demons, fiends and phalluses. Being a contrarian by nature, I decided to make my print about my favorite saint, blessed St. Patrick.

“Sit, Stay!” © 2012 Kevin McCloskey

Now I have these six St. Patrick prints done. I’ve got ideas for many more. Folks seems to like them. These will be on exhibit at Firefly Books, 230 W. Main St, Kutztown, PA. Show runs Sept. 6 to Sept.30. The prices range from $50 to $150. I hope to make enough to cover my frames and paper. My definition of an artist is simple. An artist is anyone who can increase the value of art supplies. After the Firefly exhibition I will print proper editions of 30 or 40. I will put them up for sale on my Moonpenny Press website when they are ready.

St. Patrick Skipping Rope © Kevin McCloskey 2012

“4 a.m” linocut print © 2008 Frances Jetter

Illustrators rejoice over the resurgence of interest in prints. Some illustrators are also fine printmakers. Some printmakers are illustrators. Above is a print by an artist who manages to live in both worlds, Frances Jetter. We will see her artwork in Kutztown soon.

Portrait, etching ©2009, Ivanco Talevski

Kutztown University’s Invitational Print Exhibition opens Thurs., Sept. 6. Professor Evan Summer is curator. He told me he had space for eight to ten exceptional contemporary printmakers and so made a list of 30 great artists to invite.

Woodblock print © 2012 Endi Poskovic

Nearly everyone said yes, so he didn’t even get halfway through his list. He’s hoping to do it again. Exhibiting artists: Michael Goro, Richard Hricko, Frances Jetter, Endi Poskovic, Rosalyn Richards, Rostislav Spitkovsky, Ivanco Talevski, Rochelle Toner, and Bruce Waldman.

A Fish Rots from the Head Down, etching © Michael Goro

ARTWALK,  Sept 6, Kutztown, PA

In conjunction with the Print Invitational at KU’s Miller Gallery there will be a printmaking themed Art Walk on campus and along Main Street in Kutztown. On campus there will be artwork by KU alums in the SUB. There will be a display of new prints from Oaxaca, Mexico on the 2nd floor of Rohrbach Library.

Silkscreen by ASARO, Rohrbach Library

Main Street venues include: Uptown Expresso, The Independent Space, New Arts Program, Firefly Books, Kutztown’s Main St. Bed & Breakfast, Dunkleberger’s Jewelers, Paisley & Co, Global Libations and more.

Art by Russ Spitkovsky for Carrier Pigeon Magazine

Carrier Pigeon Magazine Volume 7 will have its launch party and contributor’s exhibition at Eckhaus. I’ve only managed to peek through the windows so far, but it looks brilliant.

An Art Walk map with times and addresses can be downloaded here.  Maps will be available at the Miller Gallery’s opening reception, 4pm, 9/6/12. With apologies to the map designer, Wyatt Glennon, I have truncated his lovely map to make the version below:

As a pedestrian and a printmaker, I am really looking forward to this. It is wonderful that the town of Kutztown and campus can partner on such a fantastic project. Miller Gallery Director Karen Stanford should be applauded for this town-gown interaction. The opening begins at 4 pm 8/6/12 in the Miller Gallery in Sharadin Art Building. Most of the Art Walk spaces are open 5-9pm.

I am showing prints from my new series, The Lesser-Known Miracles of St. Patrick, at Firefly Books, conveniently located at 230 W. Main St.

Woodcuts by Kevin McCloskey. Sept 6-30, Firelfly Books, Kutztown

Good news from Mexico! Our shipment of 28 prints arrived safely in Oaxaca, Mexico from Kutztown, PA. The self-portraits in a wide variety of media (including woodblock, etching, serigraphy, and lithography) will be exhibited at Benito Juarez University in the month of July. The prints are by Kutztown University faculty, students, alumni, and friends.

Self-portrait, a Lithograph, by Prof. James Rose

Sending prints to Oaxaca seems odd, like sending flowers to Longwood Gardens. Oaxaca has a great tradition of printmakers from Rufino Tamayo to Rodolfo Morales. Living artists Damian Flores, Shinzaburo Takeda and the ASARO collective continue the tradition. Oaxaca’s best known printmaker is Francisco Toledo. His IAGO, Institute of Graphic Arts of Oaxaca, is the largest public print collection in all Latin America, and a mecca for printmakers.

The Resurgence of Printmaking in the U.S.

Kutztown’s printmaking studio is part of a bigger picture. In recent years many U.S. universities tossed their printing presses to make way for computer labs. Today there is growing interest in traditional printmaking. Young artists are rediscovering the pride and joy of working with their hands. By the way, for dispatches from the trenches of contemporary printmaking there is no better source than Printeresting, and a Kutztown grad, Jason Urban, is one of the creators of that site.

Fortunately, Kutztown University’s printmaking studio thrives under the leadership of Prof. Evan Summer. Evan has won international acclaim for his etchings. The studio is also equipped for lithography taught by Prof. James Rose. Evan opens the studio to visiting artists whenever he can. In 2011, Cesar Chavez of Oaxaca came to demonstrate Oaxaca-style woodblock printing. Cesar was impressed by the artwork he saw and suggested this exhibition to continue the artistic exchange.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There are prints by KU Professors Evan Summer, James Rose, Miles DeCoster, Kevin McCloskey, and Elaine Cunfer. More are by grads and current students. Pennsylvania is not that different from Oaxaca in one respect. Rare is the artist fortunate enough to make a living from her art. Some KU printmakers are teachers. Others work in shops or offices. Our most recent grads may still be looking for meaningful work. However, all maintain a passion for self-expression through the enduring medium of printmaking. And we are grateful to Cesar Chavez and the Escuela de Bellas Artes, UABJO, for this opportunity to share our art with the people of Oaxaca.

Near Oaxaca?  Visit the exhibition at UABJO, University of Benito Juarez Centro Cultural on Avenida Universidad. Opening Reception: Friday July 6, 7pm. Free and open to the public. The exhibition runs to the 19th of July. If you are not in Oaxaca, you can get an idea of the variety and quality of KU prints from the slide show above.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 185 other followers