Ouachita Baptist University’s Department of Visual Arts is hosting “Meet the Pressed,” an exhibit featuring prints from a variety of guest artists, in its Verser Theatre Gallery. The show will be on display through Feb. 7.
“The exhibit presents a variety of forms of printmaking including relief, intaglio, lithography and letterpress,” said Donnie Copeland, chair of OBU’s Department of Visual Arts. “The artists touch on a variety of topics including politics and magic, life and death.”
Artists whose work is featured in the show include Robyn Stoller Awend of Minneapolis, Minn.; Aaron Calvert of Arkadelphia, Ark.; Kyle Garrett of Arlington, Texas; Delita Martin of North Little Rock, Ark.; Casey McGarr of Arlington, Texas; and David Warren of Little Rock, Ark. See below for more about the artists.
Additional opportunities for the public to interact with the artists include a reception on Thursday, Jan. 30, at 2 p.m. in the gallery and a letterpress workshop on Friday, Feb. 7, from 9 a.m.-12 noon. McGarr will lead the Feb. 7 workshop.
Copeland noted that the exhibit is timed to coincide with Ouachita’s printmaking class that meets this spring, but all events are free and open to the general public.
“Printmaking is an art process that allows images to be reproduces on a large scale using pressing methods,” explained gallery assistant Katelyn Smith, a sophomore art and education major from Roe, Ark. While the “Meet the Pressed” exhibit primarily will feature letterpress prints, other forms including linoleum relief, intaglio drypoint and lithography also will be on display.
“Hand-set letterpress type has been around since the days of Gutenberg,” said Ferris Williams, assistant professor of visual arts, “and even though most of the type that we read is now created digitally, letterpress using wood and metal type has had a revival in recent years.
“I think there are a couple of reasons for the works’ appeal,” Williams added. “There’s that link with the past that evokes nostalgia. McGarr’s work uses some typefaces that were hand carved over a century ago.
“There’s also a tactile quality to it that you can’t replace with a computer,” he said. “So much about modern printing is about making exact copies of perfect pieces, but letterpress is about imperfections. The smudge of ink on paper is part of the final piece, as are the flecks of white that show through when the ink doesn’t fully adhere to the paper. It’s in these imperfections that you see the hand of the artist.”
Regular gallery hours for the exhibit are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The exhibit is also available during evenings when other School of Fine Arts events are held in Verser Theatre. For more information, contact Donnie Copeland at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5559.
About the Artists
Robyn Stoller Awend is a founding member of Form + Content Gallery in Minneapolis and serves as director of visual arts at the Sabes Jewish Community Center. Much of her work incorporates the Hebrew alphabet and “involves the exploration of identity and cultural influences – genetic, chosen, given, stereotypic, etc.” she said in her artist statement. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Dallas and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arizona. Her work in “Meet the Pressed” is letterpress.
Aaron Calvert serves as associate professor of art and director of Russell Fine Arts Gallery at Henderson State University. His work in ceramics has recently been featured in “Clear as Mud: A South Texas Ceramic Showdown” in McAllen, Texas, and the 54th annual “Delta Exhibit” in Little Rock, Ark. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in ceramics from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in crafts with an emphasis in ceramics. His work in “Meet the Pressed” is linoleum relief.
Kyle Garrett serves as an instructor at Pegasus School of Liberal Arts and Sciences in Dallas, Texas, and has also served as an adjunct instructor at Tarrant County College. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking and a Master of Arts in art/printmaking from the University of Dallas and Bachelor of Arts degrees in art and music from the University of Wyoming. His work in “Meet the Pressed” is lithography.
Delita Martin serves as a member of the fine arts faculty at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and also is founding director of Black Box Press Studio. Her work reflects her study of African folk magic, “hoodoo,” practiced by African slaves in the early U.S. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in drawing and printmaking from Purdue University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drawing from Texas Southern University. Her work in “Meet the Pressed” is letterpress.
Casey McGarr serves as assistant professor of graphic design at Texas A&M University at Commerce and is founder of Inky Lips Press. His press work includes metal type, wood type, linicuts, photopolymer and more and has recently started cutting his own wood type. McGarr previously served as an art director in Arthur Anderson’s Experience Design Group and as creative director at Fossil. He earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree in design communication from Texas A&M-Commerce. His work in “Meet the Pressed” is letterpress.
David Warren serves as associate professor of printmaking and art education at Henderson State University. His recent work focuses on etching, relief and monoprints and has been included in exhibits throughout the region. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking from the University of Arkansas and his undergraduate degree in art from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In “Meet the Pressed,” Warren is showing one linoleum relief and two intaglio drypoint works.
By Brooke Zimny, Assistant Director of Communications