A little over 30 years ago, I feel in love with Printmaking while working on my BFA degree at Colorado State University. There was just something about the combination of drawing with a needle on an etching plate – almost “plate sculpting” – and the graphic quality of the finished image, not to mention the intriguing process involved. I’ve always been a process person.
About 8 years ago, I started taking note of the high quality of exhibits (in my opinion) being shown at the Loveland Museum. It seemed like one after another were top notch and I felt like this space was the jewel of the Northern Colorado region when it came to shows of great quality. Who is responsible, who is curating this space, I wondered. I want to meet this person.
Fast forward 8 years, and I get a phone call from Maureen Corey, Curator of Art at the Loveland Museum, inquiring if I would be interested in having a solo show of my work at the Museum in spring of 2016. There were two reasons for the timing, 1) She has a show of 5 women sculptors from Northern Colorado planned for the main floor gallery during this time frame and wanted to keep the focus on women artists from this region and 2) She wanted a show that had a tie-in to Printmaking, to coincide with the Mo’ Print Event (Month of Printmaking) being planned for Denver and Front Range during March/April.
My solo exhibit, “Textile, Print and Adventures in Mapping” will be opening at the Loveland Museum/Gallery on Friday, Feb 12, 6-8 pm. The show will run through April 10 and I’ll also be doing a gallery talk from 5-6pm on Friday, March 11th.
The timing of this show is purposeful – to coincide with “Mo’ Print”, the Denver area biennial month of printmaking in March/April 2016. The goal is to generate a critical mass of printmaking exhibitions and events happening in the Denver metropolitan area, and the Front Range region during this celebration. The first Mo’ Print during 2014 generated over 50 exhibitions, events, and workshops showcasing fine art prints and the printmaking process.
So what does Printmaking have to do with my textile fine art work, you might ask? Well, my work in textiles is an extension of my Printmaking background. I earned my MFA in Printmaking many moons ago, and in my textile work, I’ve been working to combine my printmaking techniques with textiles, exploring various ways of drawing and mark-making through surface design.
An example of this is the deconstructed screen-printing process, which I have used in several pieces in both my Dye drawing and LineScape series (including the 2 images above). Through this process I’ve found a new way of mark-making that is a perfect blend of drawing, printmaking, and painting. Like intaglio etching techniques, it takes practice to achieve intended outcomes and yet still affords that serendipity, that uncontrolled element within printmaking media which contributes to a sense of mystery in a final printed image.
Also included in this show will be some of my newest pieces made from my botanical plant dyed and printed cloth, such as “Drift #2″ above. Contact printing leaves on cloth is a technique I’ve been using for the past 5 years, combining this printing with natural plant dyes and stitching to created textile wall art pieces.
While my love of Printmaking means I’ll always be a Printmaker first, I am drawn right now to working in textiles as I find some of the same qualities I love about Printmaking in fibers too – rich textures and surfaces, a variety of mark-making possibilities, both are mediums that have been around for a very long time, have utilitarian aspect, and both have also sometimes been relegated to the “lesser than” medium status. I always cheer for the under dog, maybe that’s another reason I like working in these mediums.
If you’re in the Denver/Front Range area and love Printmaking, March/April will have plenty to offer. My show in the Loveland Museum will be up through April 10. Please join me at the opening reception on Feb. 12, 6-8pm if you can swing it – would be wonderful to see you there.