Paintings and sculptures dominate many galleries in the art world but “Nomads,” the current exhibit in the Boone Family Art Gallery, focuses on the humble art of printmaking.
Gallery director Brian Tucker, in collaboration with Stan Baden, the faculty member who directs the printmaking program, put the exhibit together. It opened on May 27.
“Nomads” consists of recent works produced by more than 20 students in the printmaking program of the School of Visual, Media and Performing Arts. It showcases some underrepresented printmaking mediums such as screen prints, photo transfers, and intaglio, woodblock and monotype prints.
“Stan Baden is both an artist and a master printer, and the range of work in the show makes clear that his students develop individualized approaches to the use of printmaking techniques,” Tucker said.
The inspiration for the title “Nomads” came from the real life situation of the printmaking program’s housing situation. The program is currentlyS homeless this summer.
“The administration wants to use their longtime facility in the R building for some other program and asked them to pack everything up for a move,” Tucker said. “But at the time we mounted the show, there was no agreed upon plan for where they would relocate. So, since they were in the midst of moving from place to place with no fixed address, Stan Baden suggested the title “Nomads.”
Saunders’ piece “Meow’s It Goin’?” was done on three separate copper plates, each plate being a different color.
“The delicate lines within the piece are meant to lure people in to take a closer look only to realize that they are staring a very silly cat right in the face,” Saunders said. “The piece is meant to poke fun at the fixation media, mainly YouTube, has on cats.”
Her second piece “Temptation” was also etched in copper. This piece shows a woman wrapped within a snake.
“Both ‘Temptation’ and ‘Meow’s It Goin’?’ are pieces with painstakingly repetitious details, which in my opinion is one of the best things about printmaking,” Saunders said. “One of my favorite things to do is to sit down with a plate and scrape line after line out of the copper. There is nothing more gratifying than to finish drawing all the scales of a snake.”
“I think printmaking is a very intimate medium,” Joseph Futtner, associate dean of the School of Visual, Media, and Performing Arts, added. “So much detail goes into these works and you should take time to observe every little detail and appreciate the themes and aesthetics.”
With more than 20 students contributing their artwork, viewers have the opportunity to see the artists’ individual creativity.
“It’s interesting to see all the different works that can be created from printmaking, no two works look the same,” student Paul Ramirez said.
Several of the printmaking students have shown their work in other public exhibitions. There is also a catalog in the gallery for a recent exhibition in Hong Kong that included several of the same works that are in the show.
“Our printmaking lab is so open to creativity. The art that comes out of the lab is phenomenal,” Saunders said. “It’s great to watch other artists do their own work and learn from each other.”
“Nomads” is running through July 17 in the Boone Family Art Gallery in the Center for the Arts.