Printing at Printivale
Beautifully timed with colorful fall foliage, Printivale! at the Sharon Arts Center showcases a lovely range of prints exploring curiosity, politics, cultural examination, and reflection. Curated by book artist and printmaker, Erin Sweeney, this exhibit demonstrates a depth and variety of printmaking as medium and art form.
Entrance to the gallery
I was drawn to this exhibition in downtown Peterborough, New Hampshire for an artist panel with Philadelphia-based exhibitors Amanda Benton, Amanda D’Amico, and Caroline Ziegler. All three artists shared the motivations behind their works and answered questions on their technical processes. Benton uses digital manipulation and commercial media expectations to question cultural stereotypes. As a master printer at The University of the Arts, D’Amico draws upon her expertise in offset lithography to address personal and social conflicts through creative book structures. And Ziegler’s clever combination of letterpress, block printing, and paper mache explores the sound of language, creativity in chance, and opportunity in fairy tales.
Goldy Locks and the Three Ws: the first of six mixed-up fairy tales by Caroline Ziegler
Together, the three artists furthered the conversation on printmaking techniques through an interactive letterpress workshop. They focused how printmaking creates multiples, which, in turn, fosters creativity beyond the original art. To celebrate the sharing of excess, D’Amico introduced her pile of trimmed-down printer proofs. All attendees were given a chance to print small broadsides with type brainstormed and set by the artists: “THAT’S a great IDEA!”
Printing in action!
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From left to right: Caroline Ziegler, Amanda D’Amico, Erin Sweeney, and Amanda Benton.
So many extras that future gallery visitors can pick up their own print
The mixture of print and paper in the three artists’ work mirrors the variety represented in the show. Near the entrance of the gallery, pieces by Pilar Nadal and Amos P. Kennedy, Jr. welcome visitors with stunning examples of printmaking energy. During the opening reception, Nadal printed postcards for more than sixty people, which she has since mailed. Kennedy’s Maps boldly transform the underlying concerns faced in geographic regions to the most prominent message declared on their surfaces. Both artists demand an active interaction with viewers, drawing them energetically and emotionally into the rest of the show.
The Tired Press by Pilar Nadal
Maps by Amos P. Kennedy, Jr.
Throughout the gallery, viewers will find themselves drawn to curious treasures and intimate books. Many of the pieces draw on nostalgia, while evoking very relevant cultural and social concerns.
Teatro Soprani, A Fan of Betty Sharp’s, Flora & Gil Play Eden, Out the Back Door: A Gardener’s View, and Hazel Trellis by Annie Silverman
Rockwell’s Freedoms by Chad Creighton
All of the work demonstrates an array of texture and talent that extends beyond the wall. Bobby Rosenstock printed Wonderous Wonder at Yee-Haw Industries with a single block. When standing across the gallery or mere inches from Erin Sweeney’s quilt of paper, paint, ink, and thread, I couldn’t help being impressed by its undulating complexity. And Rebecca’s Gilbert’s enchanting prints lure viewers into a unique world of beautiful potential.
Wonderous Wonder and Unfathomable Tangle by Bobby Rosenstock
There were bits of a tune coming in on loud weather by Erin Sweeney
Building the Perfect Worm Hole by Rebecca Gilbert
As a whole, Erin Sweeney has brought together an impressive collection of printmakers, many of who participated in a print exchange also on display in the gallery. There’s still time to enjoy Printivale!, which runs until October 27th. Visitors can be assured of a wicked awesome experience.
All photography courtesy Pilar Nadal.Bookmark / Share / Print