Archive for April, 2011
Another in a series of near-home views and environment. Completed this past week is my 48″x36″ acrylic painting on canvas of the “Cow Tree” next to Ross Inlet and West Catching Bridge. It is about a mile north from here. I give its name because some of dairyman Ross’ cows occasionally camp under it during the summer. I continue working to keep things loose and toward the abstract while still defining the landscape and its feeling.
During the late summer of 2009 I was delivering some artwork for a show at Umpqua Valley Art Association (UVAA). After unloading I had a casual discussion with their Gallery Manager, Aleta McGee. While visiting, I mentioned that I had an interest in printmaking and was trying to build a program at Coos Art Museum (CAM) in Coos Bay. She admitted to having little information about printmaking and believed that the Roseburg community was in the same boat.
As I was getting ready to leave, she asked if I would curate a printmaking exhibit that she would schedule for 2011 and I told her I would give it some serious consideration and get back to her.
The next month or so I considered different ways creating a Fine Art Printmaking exhibit. Would it be an Invitational, a Juried Competition, or a collection from a Portland specialized collection. Through this brainstorming it dawned on me that the answer lay right under my nose – CAM’s Permanent Collection had a ‘treasure’ of prints including many internationally known artists.
I talked to Steven Broocks of the Coos Art Museum (where I am a regular volunteer) about the idea of a traveling exhibit from the CAM print collection. He didn’t hesitate and agreed. We decided to use this opportunity to outreach to the Roseburg area and show some of the highlights from the museum’s extensive collection. I got back to Aleta to let her know that she would have a printmaking show for 2011 and she was ecstatic and thought it would be very educational for their community.
It was the fall of 2009 and it was a comfortable timeline from then until a 2011 exhibit. My first activity was to get a list of the 230+ prints and assort them into the four main categories of Intaglio, Relief, Planographic, and Stencil (Serigraphy) because each needed to be a part of the educational print exhibit. Some of the prints were not yet framed, so those were eliminated but still left well over 150 to select as a traveling show.
The next step was to look at all available framed prints for the best examples of each process. When completed, I had 75 selections. Aleta and I had agreed that her gallery space could accommodate 35-40 works. I knew that I wanted each print to be accompanied with a brief history/info about each artist. I went through the files of each artist and those that had little to no biography I eliminated. That brought the total down to 60+. The final step to eliminate 20 more prints was the most frustrating step to curate – many fine prints had to stay home.
Getting it down to about 50, I got together with Del Smith, our most valuable caretaker of the CAM permanent collection, and met on several occasions over the course of the remaining 6-8 months, discussing and choosing which would best represent both the collection’s breadth and the different aspects of the printmaking process. She gave incredible assistance with her outstanding organizational and writing skills.
We made sure that the show would be represented through all processes including engravings, etchings, drypoints, woodcuts, linocuts, lithographs, serigraphy, monotypes & monoprints, and collagraphs.
We, also, wanted internationally recognized artists Romare Beardon, Gabor Peterdi, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, and James Rosenquist to be included along with Northwest artists Glen Alps, Tom Hardy, Lyle Matoush, and Erik & Nelson Sandgren to list a few.
The final steps of the process was protective shipping, carefully loading and delivering, and documentation. CAM Director, Steven Broocks and I carefully delivered the works and Aleta and her volunteers took over after we delivered.
“Printmakers on Paper from the Coos Art Museum Collection” is currently beautifully displayed at Umpqua Valley Art Association until May 6, 2011.
When the exhibit returns to CAM, it will be all organized and ready as the board at CAM is behind this exhibition traveling to other venues.