Printmaking is a highly popular artistic medium used throughout history to disseminate ideas and information through the inert democratic quality of the multiple. However, it also at times been considered a marginalized art for
m not worthy for inclusion in the mainstream art world. Both facts make a printmaking related event ideal for the 2012 Marginal Arts Festival.
The selected artists, Joseph Lupo, Alan Skees, Johanna Mueller, and Jennifer D. Anderson have each been asked to design two prints each four feet by eight feet. The prints will loosely respond to the curatorial theme, Sacred and Profane: Immaculately Unrestrained. This theme was selected to parallel with the Marginal Arts Festivals close each year on Mardi Gras, a day governed by the duality of intoxicating pleasure and then remorseful restraint.
This theme also parallels dualities and concepts found in each artists work. Joseph Lupo reworks comic book images removing text or characters to create abstract works or enigmatic expressions. Lupo builds upon the precedent of Pop Art but interjects is with an air of Nietzscheanism. Alan Skees combines the seriousness of warfare and destructive events with the emoticons and abbreviations of instant and text messaging in his work commenting on how contemporary culture has become desensitized to both nuances of language and the power of graphic images. The reality that technological immediacy replaces the personal even in such dire situations gives a haunting quality to Skees’ work. Johanna Mueller creates complex images of animals that serve as both fixed representation of her personal stories and fantastical contemporary totems. The images appear to be both ancient and contemporary as they reflect on the power of the icon while subtly hinting at environmental and scientific issues. Jennifer D. Anderson repurposes images from art history and the repeating patterns taken from lace and other domestic arts to make new composite images. These images suggest both memory and a nostalgic if not romantic longing through a harsh and at times destructive lens.
Presentation and Related Events
The artists’ blocks for printing will be created with the assistance of the students at Hollins University during the month of January 2011. The assistance of students at other area universities and high schools will also be cultivated through the process. Students will be encouraged during this process to also create their own blocks to be printed during the Marginal Arts Festival.
All the blocks will then be printed as a steamroller event on Saturday, 18th. This event will be part of the Marginal Arts Festival and will take place either in the parking lot at community high school, other area parking lots in downtown Roanoke or on campus at Hollins University. This massive event will bring together the working artists, other volunteers and participants to ink each block and place the paper and fabric onto them. A steamroller will then be used to roll over the blocks and essential create the impression by transferring the ink to the paper or cloth. Students and others who have created blocks will also be encouraged to join in the large scale printing at this time making the event into a massive community print making party.
Impressions of the large-scale blocks will be printed onto both fabric and paper. Those impressions on fabric will be included in the Marginal Arts Parade. The pieces will be attached to poles so parade participants can navigate the artwork through the streets of Roanoke. This processional movement of the prints through the streets directly references the history of printmaking and in particular its use to public demonstration and exchange of ideas.
Joseph Lupo http://josephlupo.com/
Jennifer Anderson http://www.jenniferdanderson.com/
Alan Skees http://alan.skees.net/