Intern Perspectives: Excellence in Printmaking

This coming weekend is the LAST weekend for Excellence in Printmaking.  That’s right, it comes down at 5 pm this Sunday, February 27.  If you haven’t made it in yet, maybe this post will convince you.  Mara Duvra is WPG’s Spring Intern from the University of Maryland, and below is her take on the Excellence in Printmaking exhibition:

Face First (Pink) by Samantha Hanson

Looking around at the Excellence in Printmaking show it is exciting to see the variety of work being produced by student artists. The show, featuring work by students around the mid-Atlantic region, showcases traditional printmaking processes ranging from woodblock, lithography, screen printing, etching, and many more. The prints range in a variety of subject matter with what seems to be an emphasis on the figure.

The first place print by student Hallie Edlund, titled Girl with Bottle, features a finely detailed aluminum plate lithograph process. The face of a young girl is distorted by a reflection on a glass bottle. What I like about this print is the sort of sublime simplicity of the awkward features which seem strange and beautiful at the same time. Second place, a linoleum cut on fabric by Samantha Hanson, titled Face First features a strong central and frontal pose of a female figure. The tension captured in this piece is pronounced with the punctuated line work, tight composition and embroidered sewing of the lips. Anna Wagner’s print chosen as third place captures a quite disheveled atmosphere in small detailed intaglio print.

(Untitled) by William Niebauer

While by now I have seen and interacted with these works on many occasions I find that every time I see them I am able find a new element of interest creating a point of reentry into the works and continual engagement. My favorite print in the show is mixed medium piece by William Niebauer. William’s piece which is a woodblock relief over inkjet print has sense of nostalgia and weathered memories. The print has a very substantial presence with its size and sort enraptures the viewer is this environment which is both unsettling and inviting.

Opportunities like the Excellence in Printmaking Show are not only great for the students featured in them as an occasion for exposure but I think they provide a forum for artist within the surrounding community to see work by emerging artist and to see the directions this new generation of emerging artists are taking the tradition of printmaking.


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