Panel 1. Secluded Evolutions.
Chairs: Cerese Vaden (University of Arizona. Tucson, AZ) Mark Ritchie (University of Wyoming. Laramie, WY). Panelists: Todd Christensen (New Mexico Highlands University. Las Vegas, NM), Kathy Puzey (Utah State University. Logan, UT) and Sukha Worob (Bozeman, MT).
Friday 11.00-12.30pm. Rm 158. Art & Art History Building.
Urban centers have long been considered the primary incubator of contemporary American art. In 1900 three of every four Americans lived in rural environments. That demographic changed drastically by 2000 where four in of five Americans live in urban and suburban environs.*1 The Western US has the lowest population density, outside of Alaska, making a large population base whose experience is quite different than the majority in the US. And since much of the non-urban popula- tion in the West proudly seeks privacy, autonomy, and individuality, what is the “public” artistic dialogue?
Are the issues and societal concerns different than those facing the rest of the country? Are people working and creating prints from an insular base more or less involved in public forums, community work spaces and global issues?
The panelists proposed here represent groups of artists who have, at some point in their creative journey, experienced isolation both physical and conceptual. How does a person who grows up far from urban “culture” become a successful practicing artist, and what issues are they most concerned with? Does the creative work of academics new to rural or se- cluded environments change with their seclusion? Does early or current separation from en vogue accepted artistic ven- ues hinder artistic development, or does it give unique perspective and insight? Are there formal and/or conceptual parallels between artist printmakers who live or have lived in small communities?
Panel 2. Crossing and Connecting: 3 Heads of Printmaking from the Denver Area.
Panel Chair: Melanie Yazzie (University of Colorado. Boulder, CO). Panelists: Cathrine Chauvin (Denver University. CO), Marilee Salvator (Metro State University. Denver, CO).
Friday 2.00-3.30pm. Rm 158. Art & Art History Building.
Discussion will focus on their work/process that is multilayered, unique and uses a variety of print process. They will focus on introducing 2-3 young and up coming artists they are in touch with from across the country and from abroad. The panel will speak about the importance of connecting through printmaking and making things happen locally, nationally and internationally.
Panelists: Jack Metcalf (Missoula, MT), Kevin Haas (Washington State University. Pullman, WA) and Dominic Thorburn (Rhodes University. Grahamstown, South Africa).
Saturday 11.00-12.30pm. Rm 158. Art & Art History Building.
Jack Metcalf: IT LENDS ITSELF // Printmaking’s relation to social practice .
For the past two decades, social practice has been shaking and restructuring the academic collective. The timely topics of community involvement, education, and political awareness/activism have made social practice and the participatory arts attractive for several of the same reasons printmaking has been historically significant. By acknowledging the strengths in social practice, printmaking can potentially lead to further democratic and de‐alienating possibilities in both art and society. En route, this blend of printmaking and social practice challenges the audience to reconsider traditional assumptions about product vs. process, quality vs. equality, singular vs. collective authorship, active vs. passive spectatorship, and the role of aesthetics and ethics.
Kevin Haas: Lithography: Past, Present, and Future
This presentation will cover a couple different aspects of the history of lithography and its materials and processes. Although lithography has played a significant role in the history of art, and is particularly suited to the artist, it has been a predominately commercial process since its outset. The outpouring of popular and scientific prints that constitute the vast majority of lithographs from the mid 1800’s into the early 20th Century, are not typically featured within a fine art context. these rich and elegant prints, are most often shown in design history courses, used as historical documents or are simply ephemera for the enthusiast. However, this overlooked wealth of visual materials, often combining image with text, can provide fresh inspiration for artists working in print.
A number of contemporary artists cleverly reference this golden era of lithography. The process of lithography has changed little for artists since its spread across Europe at the beginning of the 19th Century. Limestone, asphaltum, gum arabic, and ink are all still necessary materials. What has changed is our relationship to technology and the environment. Participating in an anachronistic art process when there is such concern for resources and sustainability, begs continual questioning. Although it may seem an outdated process, it still manages to provide relevant responses to art and the broader world we live.
Dominic Thorburn: More than a Gesture – an Intervention! Arts advocacy and community engagement through printmedia in contemporary South African visual arts.
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela
South African Printmaking has a long and proud tradition rooted in the countries history dating back to the earliest found archeological graphic inscriptions. It has played a significant role as both visual communicator and tacit provocateur during times of struggle and political resistance. The print medium has the unique capacity to exist not just vertically in relation to high culture but horizontally in relation to popular culture. This very ability to mediate within the cultural matrix remains its champion and is inherent to the history and function of the print idiom – print has always encompassed the personal, intimate gesture and also the popular, public and political.
In South Africa today print continues to interface as a dynamic social change agent with the ability to traffic within the countries often contested spaces of urban and rural transformation. This paper will explore the arts advocacy role of South African printmedia with a focus on contemporary initiatives and interventions that address meaningful community engagement and activism that can bridge divides.
Open Discussion Forum.
Moderated by Jill Fitterer (Boise State University. Boise ID).
Saturday 2.00-3.30pm. Rm 158. Art & Art History Building.
This forum, guided by Jill, gave participants the chance to reflect on specific ideas brought up during the symposium and also to discuss the opportunities afforded by the formation of the Rocky Mountain Printmaking Alliance.