Alma College Statewide Print Competition on Display
Juried by artist Judy Youngblood, University of North Texas professor emeritus of art, this year’s exhibit included 48 works by 37 artists and emphasized the variety of traditional and non-traditional techniques employed by contemporary printmakers.
Asked to describe the work she selected for the show, Ms. Youngblood commented on the number of strong black and white images and noted the artists’ uses of innovative techniques, mixed media, and collage. Although she did not see as many large relief prints as in other exhibits around the country, she was impressed by the sophistication of several works that combined digital media with traditional printing methods.
In terms of content, there were representational and figurative works as well as a number of soft, painterly abstractions. She sensed a mood of seriousness in the works and found that images were more often ironic than humorous. Much of the work struck her as quietly personal rather than “trendy.”
Five purchase awards and an honorable mention were presented for works chosen by Ms. Youngblood. These prints will be added to the College’s permanent collection at the close of the show.
The Kent Kirby Award for Best in Show ($1,000) went to Brett Colley for his multi-block relief print, “Weapons of Mass Diplomacy,” a strong statement about the current political situation and the war in Iraq. The juror admired his effective use of color and composition, timely subject matter, and very personal response to public events.
Cynthia Foley received the President and Friends of Alma College Award ($750) for her laser print collage, “Figure With Birch Mask” which depicts a stocky figure in a flat, desert-like landscape. The figure, composed of carefully cut bits of printed paper, looks both perplexed and intimidating with his sharp saber and birch bark patterned leg shields and mask. Ms. Youngblood found the cut lines of the artist’s collage as expressive as any drawn lines could be.
The Janet Gallup Award ($500) went to Robert Rozier for his drypoint intaglio, “Warner Road #6,” a mid-Michigan landscape of fields, trees and fences composed of ragged, biting marks that create a sense of turbulence more related to the act of drawing than to the placid scene depicted.
Darcy Bowden’s “Signal,” a large collograph and woodblock print, received the Senator Leo J. Rozier Award ($500). In this abstract composition, the artist layered subtle grey, yellow and blue greens with warmer orange and yellow shapes. The textures produced by the collograph plates and wooden blocks seemed woven together to create an airy textile form.
Joseph DeSanto received the Alumni of the Department of Art & Design Award, which has traditionally gone to a student artist. In his monotype, “Chicken,” bright marks and layers of color surround the white, negative form of a running fowl. The energy of the printed marks and the active pose of the chicken create a sense of movement that is surprising when combined with a subject so often associated with the static, stylized profiles of folk art paintings.
The juror also singled out the work of James Fagin for an Honorable Mention. His “If the Shoe Fits” is a monotype with digital image. The jewel-like colors of an Indian miniature are framed by bands of red-orange and black and surrounded by borders of olive green and blue-purple filled with gestural marks and bits of color that echo the intricate, curvilinear patterns in the miniature.
Following the close of the exhibition at Alma College, it will tour Michigan through October 2006 and may be seen at the following art centers:
- Kellogg Community College, Battle Creek, MI, January 9 - February 24
- 2006 Crooked Tree Arts Council, Petoskey, MI, May 14 – June 18
- The Scarab Club, Detroit, MI, July – August (Dates TBA)
- South Haven Center for the Arts, South Haven, MI, August (Dates TBA)
The Flora Kirsch Beck Art Gallery in the Clack Art Center is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission to the Statewide Print Competition is free. For more information call (989) 463-7286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted: Mon, November 28th, 2005 at 5:59PM