The gallery is open Thursday – Sunday, Noon – 5:00 pm, during exhibitions. Admission is free to the public.
Impressions: The Art of Printmaking
Artists: Shari Arai De Boer & Gail Morrison
April 7 – May 6, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, April 7, 2017, 7-9 pm
Olive Hyde Art Gallery is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibit, Impressions: The Art of Printmaking. The works of two artists, Shari Arai DeBoer and Gail Morrison, will be on display from April 7th through May 6th, 2017, with an Artists Reception on Friday, April 7th from 7 to 9 p.m.
Wikipedia describes printmaking as “the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper.” The art of printmaking originated in China following the invention of paper in 105 A.D., with the oldest dated relief prints from the 9th century. Printmaking involves a variety of ways to achieve various effects, using numerous techniques and materials.
Typically, prints are generated from a single, original surface, known as a “matrix,” which is created by the artist by drawing or carving an image onto a hard surface. One can produce multiple copies of the same artwork, yet each “print” is considered an original. Traditionally, artists would destroy the matrices, after an “edition” of printing, so that no more prints could be made. Artists would sign each print, often identifying it with a number forming a “limited edition”.
Coincidentally, both artists whose works will be exhibited have a background in architecture – is there a connection between the two forms of art? Gail Morrison contemplates, “printmaking is very process-oriented and complex,” involving a lot of planning; it might be the same kind of thinking for both, she supposes.
Gail is from Massachusetts, relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area early in life. She graduated with a degree in architecture, even though she had wanted to become an artist since high school. In 2008, she took a printmaking class which she found “fascinating and irresistible, and has been working full-tilt at printmaking ever since.” Gail is excited by “the thrill of turning the wheel of the press, folding back the blankets, and gently lifting the paper to see what has appeared.” She currently prints at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley where she is an Artist-in-Residence.
Gail is also affiliated with Graphic Arts Workshop in San Francisco, Arts of Point Richmond in Richmond, and El Cerrito Art Association in El Cerrito. She is currently exploring the potential for synthesizing digital printmaking with the traditional methods. She believes that the concept of using multiple plates through the press in traditional printmaking is akin to creating layers in digital art.
Shari Arai DeBoer grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where her family had a nursery business. While working as an architect, Shari took some watercolor classes, which led to her taking a break from architecture and pursuing art instead. She has been studying sumi-e, Japanese brush painting, for more than 12 years now. “I paint rather slowly and found it difficult to build a body of work,” Shari says. An article about etching as a base for watercolor paintings gave her the idea of experimenting and doing variations without having to start from scratch each time. She took her first printmaking class in 1999, and “got hooked.”
Because Shari liked to do very detailed drawings, etching seemed a natural choice for her; she found it very liberating. Shari was enamored by the endless possibilities. While she enjoys “the physical aspect of the medium,” what Shari likes the most is the “element of surprise, of not knowing what is created until the first impression is printed.” Currently she is a member of the California Society of Printmakers and serves on the board of Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA). Shari is also part of Uptown 20, a collective that participates in East Bay Open Studios annually at Uptown Body & Fender in Oakland.
We invite you to come take a first-hand look at this centuries-old art form, and enjoy the many forms of printmaking.