Much like the "first impression" we make on others upon a first meeting, the first impressions made from a block of wood or a metal plate as it contacts a sheet of paper through the …
Much like the "first impression" we make on others upon a first meeting, the first impressions made from a block of wood or a metal plate as it contacts a sheet of paper through the efforts of a printmaking artist can also greatly influence the direction an impression, or print, takes toward its final iteration.
The fruits of these labors are evident in an annual exhibition called "Pressing on 9" that opens with a reception Friday (Sept. 20) starting at 5 p.m. at the Stables Gallery of the Taos Center for the Arts, 133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. Admission is free.
As the title suggests, this is the ninth annual show featuring a wide variety of local printmakers and their work, plus an opportunity to learn from them at a special free workshop planned Saturday (Sept. 28) from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Stables Gallery. Several artists from the show will be present to demonstrate techniques and guide members of the public who are interested in a firsthand experience of printmaking. Everyone is welcome to view and to take part in these presentations.
"The earliest impressions created through various forms of printmaking are centuries old," an announcement reads. "Printmaking ruled the 15th and 16th centuries, remaining a dominant visual resource for hundreds of years, though the medium's relevance as an artistic expression waned with the advent of an actionable photographic process. Still, the art form persisted through the 19th and 20th centuries and into the present day, mainly through the energy and determination of devoted individuals and the collectives formed by these like-minded artisans."
One such concentration of printmakers thrives within our own Taos community through the members and participants exhibiting handmade prints in this show, which is in conjunction with the Taos Fall Arts Festival. Participating in this year's show are 18 local printmakers, producing imagery as varied and diverse as the backgrounds from which they have emerged.
"Discretionary techniques ranging from relief prints, such as woodblock, resulting from inking and printing the uppermost surface of a block to intaglio prints, such as etching, and even collagraph, in which the upper surfaces are wiped clean, to varying degrees, leaving the lower surfaces of the plate to retain the ink which is to be printed," the announcement continues. "Add to these techniques that of monotype, stencil, embossing, mixed-media enhancement and any combination thereof. Combine these with the graphic tones of black and white, inks of soothing neutral hues or a kaleidoscope of colored pigments, coming into contact with the most pristine sheet of finely crafted paper, and lasting impressions are sure to result."
The exhibit continues through Sunday (Sept. 29). "Pressing on 9" will be open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information, call (575) 776-8319.
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