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SAGA Fine Print Exhibition and Handing It Down
May 18, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - July 1, 2023 @ 4:00 pmFREE
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 18th 5:30 – 8:00pm
The Artists Archives would like to congratulate the winners of the SAGA Fine Print Exhibition Awards! Sponsored by The Print Club of Cleveland, the awards were juried by Dr. Emily J. Peters, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Cleveland Museum of Art. To see the work and hear fascinating insights about their creation, join us for the virtual SAGA Award Winners Spotlight program with Dr. Peters on Wednesday, June 21st @ 7pm!
- Honorable Mention ($50) – Cindi Ford, A Botanical Anecdote, # 2/4, Engraving, mokuhanga & monotype
- 3rd place ($100) – Jayne Reid Jackson, Convergence, #10/10, Mezzotint
- 2nd Place ($250) – Karen Whitman, Dreams over Brooklyn, A/P, Linocut
- 1st Place ($500) – Merle Perlmutter, Taking Notes, #1/1, Assembled etching & soft ground
About the Show:
Beginning this May, the Artists Archives is thrilled to host a Fine Print Exhibition featuring the Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA), one of the nation’s oldest organizations dedicated to creative printmaking. Based in New York City, SAGA was founded in 1915 to promote the advancement of the graphic arts. Over their 108-year history, they have exhibited such preeminent modern artists as Henri Matisse, Mary Cassatt, Käthe Kollwitz, Edward Hopper, Joseph Pennell, and Pablo Picasso, and continue to count some of the world’s most accomplished printmakers among their ranks.
The exhibition at the Artists Archives will include over 50 prints produced by their internationally renowned membership. Juror Mindy Tousley describes, “As one would expect from such an esteemed organization, the work submitted was emblematic of the quality and professionalism of its members. While the chosen pieces varied widely, there was a common bond expressed among the artists, and that was the love they held for printmaking…this exhibition is a celebration of their years of experience and love of the art form.”
“I get excited about ink and paper,” German born artist Dirk Hagner effuses. “The textures, the subtle build-up of sheen in successive ink layers, the gentle dimensionality impressions leave on the sheet, the feel of the printing blocks, the sounds, and scents – it’s the whole mix. It is seductive, challenging, often surprising, and always exhilarating.”
The artists’ passion for their medium translates directly into their technical prowess. The exhibition boasts several reduction relief prints, referred to by Picasso as “suicide prints” because of the inability to make corrections as the block is cut away to produce layers of color. Also on display are jaw-dropping mezzotints which achieve a velvet-soft tonality by pitting a metal plate with thousands of interlocking dots. Converge by Jayne Reid Jackson, for example, highlights the medium’s pastel quality by depicting a pool of glass marbles in photorealistic detail. Ringed by a circle of upturned crabs, the articulated white bellies and the glittering orbs reflect the light in a dramatic scene of tabletop chiaroscuro.
In addition to being masters of their physical craft, the printmakers selected for the exhibition are also masters of observation. With laser-like precision, the artists capture the heartbeat of a city or the delicate cycles of nature on a printing plate and call forth their images for our reflection. As artist Alan Petrulis explains, “To truly experience this world, one must not just look but learn to see and listen. Places that speak to me become points of translation, points to be transcribed onto paper in a language made of a thousand little lines and marks. Some of these voices are deeply fixed in the land. Some arrive through fleeting moments like when a stoplight turns red and a truck halts in front of a street mural to open a dialog…”
Printmaking has the uncanny ability to strip away life’s cacophony to reveal the essence of a time and place. This meditative subtraction can be seen in Susan Jaworski-Stranc’s relief print And So…It Comes Every Year, which distills the swirling chaos of a forest fire brought on by climate change down to dynamic blocks of fiery orange, green and dousing blue. Another piece, Dreams Over Brooklyn, by Karen Whitman, converts the dazzle of a city’s color and detail to an impactful, pulsing vignette of line, contrast, and form.
For Whitman, so too does the labor of her practice serve as a reinforcement of her personal values. “The physicality and rigor of carving and printing reminds me daily of the hard work and patience it takes to accomplish most anything meaningful,” she explains. “I am also determined in this world of push-button images and shortcuts of convenience, to keep the tradition of making hand-pulled prints alive, as they enhance the richness of the experience of appreciating art ~ and of being a human being.”
The SAGA Fine Print Exhibition will be celebrated with an in-person opening reception on Thursday, May 18th 5:30 – 8:00pm. Four exhibition awards will be sponsored by The Print Club of Cleveland, and will be juried by Dr. Emily J. Peters, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
To accompany the show, the Artists Archives will also present Handing It Down, an exhibition featuring prints from the Jack and Linda Lissauer Collection. Curated by Jack Lissauer, the show will focus on artists who are also educators dedicated to passing down the knowledge of their craft to the next generation.
A variety of exciting programming will also support the SAGA Fine Print Exhibition. On Wednesday, May 31st 7:00 – 8:00pm the Archives will host the virtual program From Stone to Silicone: The Future of Printmaking with Michael Menchaca and Maggie Denk-Leigh. How has the technology of printmaking evolved? And what current digital innovations are shaping the print world today? Join renowned contemporary printmaker Michael Menchaca and the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Printmaking Department Chair Maggie Denk-Leigh as they provide a fascinating overview of the evolution of fine art printing and look ahead to its exciting future through the lens of Menchaca’s socially engaged digital and multimedia work. REGISTER ON ZOOM
On Wednesday, June 21st 7:00 – 8:00pm, Dr. Emily J. Peters, Cleveland Museum of Art’s Curator of Prints and Drawings, will discuss her selections for the SAGA Fine Print Exhibition Awards. Peters will be joined by Diego Briceno, Vice President of SAGA, Mindy Tousley, Exhibition Juror, and the award-winning artists who will provide fascinating insight into their pieces in the show. REGISTER ON ZOOM
Need special accommodations? We’re happy to help! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to plan your visit or call 216-721-9020 for assistance. We’re looking forward to seeing you!