Exhibitions: Recent, Current and Upcoming:
Connect: Small Prints, March 5- April 5, 2023, Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Norwalk, Conn.
_________________Oct. 2022, Oregon Society of Artists, Portland, OR
_________________ April 2-30, 2022Curtis Center for the Arts, Greenwood Village, CO
_________________Jan 8-29, 2022, Museum of Printing, Haverhill, MA
Connexiones/Connections, 2022, Taller de Grafica, Havana, Cuba
In recent years I have traveled extensively to work, collaborate, exhibit and explore with other printmakers. The exchange of ideas as well as the intense experience of both difficult and joyful aspects of each country: China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mexico, Iceland, Cuba and, most recently, Poland, have underscored the vitality of the international printmaking world. Each exchange proved printmakers to be generous, collaborative and inventive.
In China, at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, I was impressed by the extent of government support for the arts, the fine new buildings and extensive programs, but also at the inventive solutions of the students when, for one reason or another, that support didn’t cover all contingencies: when the electricity failed, students connected bikes to the electrical circuits and began pedaling. Lights came on and all continued without missing a beat. Although we did no direct collaborative work at the Academy itself, there were shared presentations and the exchange resulted in a portfolio of prints of Chinese and US artists, one copy of which is in the collection of the Boston Public Library and one of the others is retained by the Collection of the China Academy of Art. It also resulted in the Exhibition: Echoes of China, Brickbotton Gallery, Somerville, MA.
I brought pronto lithography plates with me on this trip and discovered what a great medium this is to prepare prints for future printing while traveling. Pronto plates are light and easily portable. I was able to sketch directly on them with sharpie and ballpoint pen to record the extraordinary Huangshan Mountains and to print them on my return to this country.
In Vietnam, at the Vietnam Fine Arts Association, the exchange was lively and continued on down the street at a neighboring restaurant with songs and plenty to drink. The atmosphere was truly collegial and there has been continued exchange between Vietnamese and US artists since then, largely through the efforts of David Thomas, a past President of The Boston Printmakers and a Vietnam veteran. We exhibited both at the Contemporary Art Center and at Module 7 Gallery in Hanoi. Although no direct work of my own came out of this trip, the extraordinary landscape and boat life in particular, the lively street scenes and the resiliency of the Vietnamese people left a strong impression. Although in Cambodia, to which I traveled after Vietnam with several printmakers, we took part in no printmaking exchange or exhibition, the imagery of ancient temples of Angkor Wat overgrown with roots of trees was deeply resonant for me.
The Forum on Creativity in Guanajuato, Mexico was a Boston Printmakers sponsored printmaking residency hosted by Carol Summers and Hugo Anaya at Hugo’s Piramidal Grafica Studio. Karen Kunc and Carol Summers were chief mentors and work was intensely collaborative, focused and hugely satisfying. We produced two books of prints combining the woodcuts from all the artists present. Guanajuato is a stimulating, colorful town and I think the vitality of this place has had a big influence on my work. I was later co-curator for an exhibit at Laconia Gallery in Boston of the Retablos books we created and other prints by participants in the residency. More information on this trip on The Boston Printmakers website
The members of the Icelandic Printmakers Association, in Reykjavik were extraordinarily welcoming. They are an experienced group of printmakers and are very much in touch with printmaking developments in both Europe and the US. They provided gallery space for a joint exhibition and demonstrations there and they were invited, in turn, to take part in the joint exhibition here based on prints influenced by Iceland: Continental Drift, Printmakers Converge, Belmont Gallery, Belmont, MA. You feel the environment very strongly in Iceland, with volcanic steam plumes, rushing streams and the ocean near and so much a part of life.
Although the trip to Cuba was not so much a residency or collaborative exchange, it was a wonderful opportunity to get to know a number of Cuban Printmakers and see their work, to travel with other printmakers and to get a sense of the burgeoning culture there. Printmaking is a very vital part of that culture and artists in general tend to be better off than many others because they are able to travel and sell their work abroad. Although clearly Cubans have had times of real financial struggle, they also seem to have an excellent education and medical system, very few if any homeless people, and street life that appears, at least to a visitor, to be lively, full of music and safe.
In Poland, the focus was on studio work at the Jan Matejko Academy of Art Printmaking Studios with several very intense and meaningful trips to other parts of the country and explorations of Krakow city itself. The trip coincided with the 50th Anniversary of the Krakow International Print Triennial. In the time we were there, we saw a ton of prints, created an exchange portfolio titled Virtuosity, showed and discussed our individual work, and managed to dance and drink vodka on top of that. But we also took a trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau and, for me that gave meaning to everything else we did. Where do we find the courage, the self-awareness and deep sense of the richness in each human being so that the feelings, let alone the actions, that led to Auschwitz never take root here?