Annie Newman is back! And checking a week’s worth of emails and mail and press room proposals, so, we’re keeping this pretty short. This is the last weekend for both Old World and New and Both Sides of the Brain. Stop by and see Annie–she’s never too busy to talk prints!
Tag Archives: mezzotint
Sorry for the delay (camera trouble). Here’s some installation shots of Old World and New: Apart, Though Still a Part in the main gallery space as well as the traveling mezzotint exhibition Both Sides of the Brain currently in the Press Room!
Artist and printmaker Aaron S. Coleman is a graduate student at Northern Illinois University. Within the last year he has been coordinating a group of internationally known printmakers and artists in an effort to spread knowledge and appreciation for the mezzotint medium. Aaron has been working with the mezzotint technique for 2 years now. As a self-taught mezzotint artist (you can see more about his process here), in a field where few practice the technique, Aaron wanted to reach out to other printmakers working within the medium. The portfolio on exhibit next month at WPG hosts 17 internationally established artists including Michael Barnes, Julie Niskanen, Linda Whitney and Kouki Tsuritani to name a few.
The artists in the portfolio were selected by Aaron to represent a wide range of influence, style and conceptual direction. The prints in the portfolio display artists working in the realms of abstract, hyper-realistic, conceptual, illustrative and contemporary art. Both Sides of the Brain is a themed portfolio that explores ideas of duality.
Each of the 17 artists created an original edition of 19 prints to contribute to the portfolio. The two extra portfolios will be donated to the printmaking archives of Northern Illinois University where Aaron is finishing his Masters of Fine Art degree and Herron School of Art where he received his Bachelor of Fine Art degree. The exhibition schedule jumps off in Indianapolis at Herron in August of 2012. From there, the portfolio will be shown at Northern in September and the Washington Printmakers Gallery in Silver Spring Maryland in October. There are two exhibitions in 2013 at the University of Missouri and Lamar D. Fain College of Fine Arts in Texas. This is sure to be an amazing exhibition for all mezzotint, printmaking and art enthusiasts.
Julie Niskanen was the 2008 National Small Works winner, and now one of our distant members, as she lives in North Carolina. Now that her semester is ending and she can take a little breather, we caught up with her to ask her a few questions:
WPG: You work with natural forms that you feel are often disregarded. How do you gather your material–on specific walks, just out in the yard, online? Is there anything specific that you look for when picking a new egg, flower, or seedpod?
Niskanen: I find inspiration for my work at different times. Sometimes I will plan a trip to a park, garden, nature center, etc. and look for ideas. Other times I find things by chance, which is often the best time. As I am out, I am very aware or my surroundings. One evening after I left my studio in downtown Raleigh I found a bird nest on the street. It must have fallen from a small city tree, but it was quite a strange and random find. My latest mezzotint is an image of this nest. Even when I am out walking my dog I come upon pods, leaves, and even a perfectly intact butterfly (dead, but beautiful) that I will use in an upcoming print. In general, I look for the gifts from nature everywhere I go.
WPG: You teach printmaking at the college level and also at workshops. Does teaching effect your printmaking, either your habits or your subject matter?
Niskanen: Teaching printmaking is great fun and I love it! I work with my students on many techniques, including mezzotint. Teaching doesn’t seem to affect my subject matter much, but I’m sure that it helps me to perfect my techniques even more. I am very clean and thorough when working in my studio, and I try to be even more so when teaching and giving demos to help my students create good studio habits.
WPG: We’ve heard that your creativity extends to the kitchen, and that you are quite the vegan cook. As someone with vegan family members, I can attest to there being some amazing vegan recipes out there, but many non-vegans may have their doubts. Can you tell us some vegan dishes we should not pass up if we get the chance to try them?
Niskanen: Hmmm that is a tough one! There are so many vegan dishes that I would say not to pass up. I must say that my vegan carrot cake and vegan cheesecakes rock! Cooking has always been a passion of mine, and I see it as another form of art. Some of my favorite meals to cook are: vegan lasagna, rainbow chard navy bean burgers, quinoa with curried veggies and tofu, and vegan Philly cheesesteak. Vegan dishes are great because they have all if not more of the protein and fiber of meat and much less fat (and of course, no animal products).
You can see Julie’s work in the bins and flat files at WPG and in select member exhibitions. Stop by to see her beautiful mezzotints in person!