I used to call myself a painter. Joan Mitchell and Willem de Kooning books still stand proud on my studio bookshelf. Then, four years ago, at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT, I took my first printmaking class from Gesine Janzen. Ever since, the coat of dust on my paintbrushes has grown thicker as I have expanded my collection of brayers and carving tools. I was attracted to printmaking as a medium because of its ability to replicate imagery; to be able repeat an image, but to retain unique charms in each individual print. Through relief printing, I found a rhythmic sort of therapy in the carving techniques. However, it was the immense sense of community that comes with being a printmaker that caused me to fall in love with the medium.
With my passions aligned as they are, learning that one of the most renowned print intensive workshops in the world was located a mere forty-five minutes from my hometown of Sioux Falls, SD seemed like a scene out of my best daydream. Now, after having experienced Frogman’s Print Workshop for the first time last week, I am now of the opinion that being so nearby at all times of the year caused me to do Frogman’s all wrong.
Frogman’s Print Workshop happens every year during the first two weeks of July at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD. Well over a hundred printmakers come from around the world to learn new techniques, share their own processes and work, and to create new relationships with kindred souls who share their passion for print. The 2015 workshop was the 34th year of Frogman’s. There are two week-long sessions filled with multiple Continue reading Frogman’s Print Workshop 2015
Forget favorite colors or holidays. This printmaker has a favorite day of the month. I’m sure by now you may have guessed, that day is First Friday. A day when the creative souls of our humble midwestern city gather en masse to celebrate one another’s work. And I must say, April showered us with a darn fun Friday.
I began my art seeking adventures at Prairie Berry Winery, where I stumbled upon a themed group exhibition called “The Art of the Colloquialism.” The titles of the works sure didn’t “beat around the bush” in alluding to the communicative theme of the works, with headlines like “Six Ways Till Sunday” by Collette Gesinger and a stunning “Take Five” in oil by Steve Randall.
I then meandered onward to check out the newly missing wall between JAM Art & Supplies and Exposure Gallery & Studios. That’s right folks! These two wonderful supporters of local artists now share one, big Continue reading First Friday Review: April 3, 2015
As children, it is not unusual to find fascination with animals. These creatures are a source to relate to, innocent beings living through the dichotomy of coexistence with man. To me, it makes sense to be drawn to the innocence and wonder of just… being. Children hold this magical quality to them, this ability to approach life with unbridled awe. Life has hopefully not begun to teach it’s hard lessons, to discern one’s path. In the end, we are all drinking the same water, breathing the same air. One should not be so quick to discern the hierarchy of existence.
I wish I had known Michelle St. Vrain as a child. I imagine her exploring through the dense trees of Kentucky, followed by a small body of animals; bunnies hopping at her feet, butterflies flitting above her hair in a blurry crown. This is a delightful image to hold in my mind, but I am quick to point out that Michelle is not some dainty maiden traipsing in the woods with Bambi. She is a strong-willed and mindful soul, and uses her personal beliefs as a point of exploration in her work. Michelle fosters a deep compassion for all living creatures, and continuously develops that connection. Using images of animals, or at least parts of them, she creates moments of interaction with these creatures in their various forms. Instead of focusing on the variance of our existence with the animal kingdom, she finds a refreshing unity in the disparity, and I find that to be just lovely. ~Amy
Continue reading MICHELLE ST. VRAIN – AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW
Sometimes understanding what you don’t know can be one of the most beneficial truths to attach bearance. By acknowledging that void, there is an internal release provided, a demand for discovery and intuitive action. For Andres Torres, that visceral approach is matched with strong intellect and an explorative understanding of art theory. His abstract paintings have a captivating allure that provide interest for a multi-faceted audience, which he creates through finding an articulate intersection between playful and purpose.
JAM had the pleasure of talking with Andres before he moved to Wisconsin for graduate school. It feels so much longer than two months ago, when we were sitting outside in mid-August, enjoying iced tea and Torres’ thoughts. I have always enjoyed his company and valued his opinion, and his absence has not gone unnoticed. During these fleeting days of fall, take this time to read on, and reminisce on the warmth of summer, and the flowing thoughts of a genuine soul. ~Amy
What is the path that has led you to where you are today?
Well, I’d have to say that my mom was a huge part of me becoming an artist, along with my grandmother. I’ve always been exposed to Continue reading ANDRES TORRES: AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW