Fine art

Impressive visions

Taos printmakers take center stage at 'Pressing On 2018'

By Tamra Testerman
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 9/20/18

'Pressing On" is an exhibition of handmade prints now in its eighth year. It is shown in conjunction with the Taos Fall Arts Festival. The show opens with a reception Friday (Sept. …

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Fine art

Impressive visions

Taos printmakers take center stage at 'Pressing On 2018'

Posted

'Pressing On" is an exhibition of handmade prints now in its eighth year. It is shown in conjunction with the Taos Fall Arts Festival. The show opens with a reception Friday (Sept. 21), 5-7 p.m., at the Stables Gallery of the Taos Center for the Arts, 133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte.

Sixteen local printmakers are taking part, and a few of them will be on hand to offer a free printmaking workshop Saturday (Sept. 22), 11a.m. until 4 p.m., also at the Stables.

Jane Ellen Burke has been a participant in the exhibit for three years and has been involved in the printmaking community in Taos for 17 years. Burke has been experimenting with handprinting techniques with an emphasis on color mixing by the overlapping of forms to produce a third color.

She said the effects of printing by hand are "considerably different from those achieved by the use of a printing press and each serves a different purpose." She said although one can "reasonably work towards a certain result, there is often an element of chance that can change, enhance or allow one to proceed in an entirely different direction than originally conceived." She continued, "It is a very creative and challenging way of working and offers collaboration with other artists as we all journey along this path of creating our works."

Artist Brian Bari Long said (for this exhibit) he is "delving into unknown territory, working on prints that combine solar plates and woodcuts. If it works, they will be in the show. If not, I will have some multidrop mono prints. Wildlife, landscapes and portraits, and some etchings." He said the work is a culmination of his "attempts to capture the spirit of the subjects I am engaged with. The landscape around Taos has always inspired me and that never changes."

Printmaker Catherine V.de Brito said she is planning to exhibit several intaglio photo etchings. She characterizes her work as a "combination of realistic, fantastic and/or visionary images, a remembrance and a prediction incorporating both a classical and indigenous aesthetic, meant to remind a world gone mad of what could be and what should be. My art is about stories. The stories we tell ourselves are the realities we will live."

She continued, "I tell the story with as much clarity, skill and eloquence as my pen, my brush and my pencil can muster. For me, content is as important as technique. I strive to master techniques in order that my intention be understood."

V.de Brito added that art is important to her because it is her voice. "It is often the only way I can express myself. I sometimes write or dance, but art is my primary form of authentic communication."

Artist Fatima Rigsby said she is delighted to be "exhibiting a series of airborne figures that all began with a flying dream. They represent being free of the confines of a body. For her, "Taos is about the vastness of sky and the shifting light and color and its underlying emptiness. I always hope for others to find their own meaning in this work as art is a subjective thing."

She said the show is interesting to her because of the "diversity of methods, styles, subject being represented." For this exhibit she hopes to "educate the public about the many faces of printmaking and disabuse them of the idea we're "just making copies."

Jennifer Lindsley said printmaking has been a passion of hers since she moved to Taos. She has joined her enthusiasm for photography with printmaking.

"In creating my solar etchings, I coalesce my camera with the press," she said. "Instead of the darkroom I now rely on my camera, computer and scanner to design the transparencies used in creating the solar etching plates. I have been very fortunate to travel, and the pieces I use in creating my prints have come from my portfolio of both digital and film images from destinations near and far."

She said her images "have no hidden message," and she "creates them for my pleasure and hope viewers will find the humor in them or understand the why."

Printmaker T.J. Mabrey (whose work is also on view at the Bareiss Gallery this weekend) said the work she is planning to exhibit for the show "is simple, squares and circles with lots of embossing and color and some fingernail polishes.I see the print press as a means to an unknown, creative end, one that reflects a sculptor's proclivity, but trying to maintain a sense of the discipline of printmaking. Mabrey found her way to Taos "after leaving Cairo, Egypt, a city of 16 million people in 1992. We found a house on a paved street in town that fit the bill and one we could afford in Taos. It felt comfortable."

Other artists involved in this year's show include Joy Purcell, Betsy Peirce, Stephanie Moller, Juanita Lavadie, Lawrence J. Herrera, Allen Griffith, Abby Salsbury, Gary Cook, Dwarka Bonner, and Asa Benson-Core.

The artwork in the exhibit is unframed, looking as though it went up right after coming off the printing press.

The show continues through Sept. 30. For more information, call (575) 758-2052 or visit tcataos.org.

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