JONESBORO – The 2018 Delta National Small Prints Exhibition opens at the Bradbury Art Museum at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18.
This always popular exhibition provides northeast Arkansas and the region an annual look at the latest trends in contemporary small printmaking. A full-color catalog of the entire print exhibition will be available at the opening reception. The museum is in Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Dr., on the campus of Arkansas State University.
The exhibition was born of a deep respect and passion for printmaking in a small format. The originator, Evan Lindquist, a master engraver whose work most often has been relatively diminutive, conceived of the show in 1996. At that time, it was held in the A-State Fine Arts Center Gallery. When the Bradbury first opened its doors in 2001 the venue was moved and it has proudly been an annual tradition there ever since.
The 2018 juror, Mary Weaver Chapin, curator of prints and drawings at Portland Art Museum, shares Lindquist’s love for printmaking in modest dimensions. She selected 60 powerful prints, the majority of which are quite small, even for this show. Her vision for the exhibition embraces this minimal size and proves artwork does not require a grand scale to command and hold attention.
Les Christensen, director of BAM said, “We would like to thank Dr. Chapin for choosing this outstanding collection of prints. She reviewed hundreds of pieces to make her selections and determine which artworks would receive awards. Her well-trained eye and deep appreciation for the medium are evidenced by the diverse and skillfully crafted prints she has chosen.”
In her juror’s statement Chapin said, “Confined to an image size not to exceed 24 by 32 inches, the participants of the DNSPE must create powerful graphic statements in just 768 square inches. Fortunately, artists — and, in my opinion, printmakers in particular — often thrive and excel in the face of boundaries, working within (or pushing against) the parameters of the medium or dimensions. I am delighted to report that the 2018 DNSPE artists rose to this challenge with exceptional grace.”
The DNSPE is made possible by many generous individuals and organizations who provide the financial and practical assistance necessary to produce the exhibition and catalog. Several outstanding artists included in the show receive purchase prizes, which become part of the A-State Permanent Collection of Art.
The Delta National Small Prints Exhibition is held in four of the six individual galleries in the museum.
On display in the Stella Boyle Smith Gallery is “Spatial Differences,” an exhibition of painting and sculpture by Robyn Horn. Best known for her beautifully hewn wooden objects, this Little Rock artist is also well respected for her ability as a painter.
Horn says of her artistic process, “Moving back and forth from 2D paintings to 3D sculpture gives me a perspective in realizing the differences in spatial dimensions. The geometry and textural qualities are very similar, but the paintings give me more opportunities to explore than the sculptures do, enriching both areas of my creativity.”
Wizards and War Games
Work by A-State Professor Emeritus John Keech is featured in the exhibition titled Wizards and War Games. His illuminated work, on view in the Vaughn Gallery, consists of intriguing shapes created through his manipulation of black oil paint on the reverse of acrylic panels. These backlit paintings are clustered in small groups arranged in a rectangular format.
Keech explains his work by saying, “My pictures are a type of surrealism. I draw and imprint images on plexiglass. The paintings are peculiar and unearthly, but they are also compelling and persuasive.”
All three exhibitions will open to the public at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18, at Bradbury Art Museum, and will continue through Feb. 21.
BAM hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; noon to 7 p.m. Thursday; 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday; and by appointment. The exhibitions, the catalog and the reception are admission-free and open to the public. For additional information please contact the museum at (870) 972-2567.
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