Arkansas Society of Printmakers' exhibit scheduled through Nov. 15

Release Date: 10/29/2013

The Arkansas Society of Printmakers will present an exhibit titled "Print Evolution" in University of the Ozarks' Stephens Gallery from Oct. 28-Nov. 15.

Desire and Geometry

Associate Professor of Art Tammy Harrington's collaborative artwork "Desire and Geometry" is one of 26 prints that will be displayed in the Arkansas Society of Printmakers' exhibit "Print Evolution."

The exhibit, which is a part of the University's Artist of the Month Series, is free and open to the public. There will be a reception to meet the artists from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5, in the gallery, which is located in the Walton Fine Arts Center.

The Arkansas Society of Printmakers (ASP) is a community of artists, art collectors, and supporters of the art of printmaking. They are dedicated to the mission of generating "greater excitement and appreciation for printmaking as a unique art form in Arkansas and to maintaining the integrity and identity of printmaking among artists by sharing skills and knowledge and thereby encouraging excellence in the field."

"Print Evolution" is part of what is called a print exchange, an organized collaboration between fine art printmakers in which a predetermined number of prints is created by each participating artist. The prints are then sent to a central location where they are collated into portfolios. Every artist in the exchange is represented in each portfolio and every artist will receive a portfolio of prints. For example, ten artists are asked to participate, so each artist must produce ten prints. The prints are then returned to the organizer who collates and redistributes them in an assortment to participating artists.

In "Print Evolution" each artist involved created a group of first stage prints and then sent the prints to the exchange organizer. The prints were collated and redistributed, however, this time they were sent to different artists for stage two. For stage two of the print's development, each artist was asked to make changes and/or additions to their colleague's work. The resulting images are an amalgam of two artists working on a single print. The first image made was a pure print, a woodcut, a linocut, an etching, a monotype, or other printmaking process. In the second stage, artists employed techniques such as traditional printmaking processes, photo transfers, stencils, collage, painting and drawing, etc. Each artist made decisions to change the image radically in some cases or with subtlety in others. At times the decisions changed the form and content of the image and in other instances chose to respect the original print by making additions that reflected the perceived intent of the artist. In some of the original prints there was no apparent content, just a texture or a shape, so that the second artist was able to build a theme unencumbered. This exhibit is the result of artistic discovery and exploration.

The artists who participated in the "Print Evolution" portfolio come from all over Arkansas, including University of the Ozarks, Arkansas Tech University, Henderson State University, Hendrix College, Little Rock, and Arkadelphia.

Ozarks art professors Tammy Harrington and Dawn Holder served as the curators for the exhibit. Harrington is a member of ASP and was part of the "Print Evolution" exchange.

"It was an intriguing proposition to work on this collaborative project," Harrington said. "With my first stage imagery, I purposely created an image that left enough space for the other participants to insert their imagery.  When I received my packet of the other prints, it was a challenge to make my aesthetic mesh with such a variety of imagery and styles.  It also made me think more creatively and opened up how I thought about artmaking.  I was pleased at the variety of visual results and the complexity of the finished prints in the whole portfolio.  Dawn Holder and I curated the exhibition and selected 26 prints to display out of the 91 prints in the portfolio."

Other artists who worked on the exhibit included, Aaron Calvert, DebiLynn Fendley, Melissa Gill, Diane Page Harper, Neal Harrington, Delita Martin, Dominique Simmons and David Warren.