Female-focused printmaking exhibit to open on campus
Senior art history major Mary Slinkert (left) and Maricelle Gonzales, senior studio art major (right), assemble letters to form phrases which will be placed on the floor as part of an exhibit in the Printmaking Show in the Fine Arts Building Room 238 Friday, Feb. 7. Slinkert and Gonzales are students in the Exhibition Design class responsible for displaying the works. Photo by Tony Santos / Xpress
A new SF State exhibit in the Fine Arts Gallery, Progressive Proof: Innovative Prints from the Pacific Rim, featuring artwork from nine women printmakers, will be open for viewing Feb. 22 through March 27.
The Progressive Proof art exhibition was catered around the Southern Graphics Council International Printmaking Conference coming to the Bay Area March 26, connecting the traditions, innovation and activism in the art world.
Susan Belau, assistant professor of art, the curator and co-organizer of the SGC’s International 42nd annual conference, handpicked each nine printmakers in order to “highlight the work of women artists,” said Belau.
Belau said she picked the nine women artists to showcase women in the content of their work, which is, according to Belau, different from male artistry and reflects how women are in general underrepresented in the art world. Most of the artists are from the Bay Area, such as Clare Szydlowski, who attended SF State for her master’s degree in printmaking. Szydlowski is an Oakland-based artist and an art educator at a high school in Redwood City.
Szydlowski was invited to be part of the nine-piece show by Belau after a visit to Szydlowski’s art show in 2012, where she displayed track houses, identical two-dimensional houses in suburbs across America.
“I fell in love with printmaking,” said Szydlowski.
She realized the art form was for her when she was an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz. Working in a studio and being in that sort of community easily helped her to expand her own printmaking skills, she said.
She said she enjoys printmaking because each piece of art is one-of-a-kind, and not a mass-produced print from a machine where the artist cannot control how the prints are transformed to paper.
“(We are) breaking out of these methods (used in general art and) taught in school for hundreds of years and pushing the boundaries of print,” said Szydlowski.
Belau wanted the exhibition to be focused around artists who work with prints that expand the practice of contemporary art, rather than the traditional boundaries of art that society witnesses every day.
“I was introduced to printmaking in my third year of college and I got really excited about the different atmosphere of the printmaking studio,” said Hyeyoung Shin, one of the other visiting artists.
“I’m a printmaker and also a drawer and performer as well. When I envision my art project, I strive to choose a proper medium for each project. I think my thinking process somehow always connects with the printmaking process. When I have an idea of making things, I like to make a plan with rough sketches or notes,” said Shin.
Some of these prints, such as “Locus of Water,” by printmaker Seiko Tachibana is hung in the J. Paul Leonard Library, are already displayed around the SF State campus in order to promote the presence of the artwork to students before the gallery opens.
There will be an opening reception Feb. 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Fine Arts Building.