Intrigue and Impressions: 25 Years of Printmaking

June 20, 2016

Curating

Editor’s note: This week’s guest bloggers are Candace Gilstrap, Aaron Moses, and Jessica Provencher–graduate students at Oklahoma State University and the curators of Intrigue and Impressions: 25 Years of Printmaking. In this post, they talk a little bit about their experience curating the exhibition, as well as an overview of what we can expect.

Intrigue and Impression: 25 Years of Printmaking is the fourth graduate-curated summer exhibition in OSU’s Gardiner Gallery. The graduate-curated show has been an invaluable opportunity for those interested in or without previous knowledge of curation to gain hands-on experience planning an exhibition. We were responsible for selecting objects, creating the layout, fundraising, obtaining high-quality images of works, designing and producing publication materials, planning a reception, and installing the show.

Carmon Colangelo, Cornered: Past and Present, from portfolio Reunion, 2010, lithograph and photolithograph on paper, Collection of Mark Sisson.

Carmon Colangelo, Cornered: Past and Present, from portfolio Reunion, 2010, lithograph and photolithograph on paper, Collection of Mark Sisson.

The chance to participate in a graduate-curated show such as this is an important educational feature that not only enhances our academic experience, but also provides those of us that plan to work in a museum or gallery with essential curatorial skills. Additionally, this year’s show gave us the opportunity to learn more about printmaking techniques and networks that were previously unfamiliar to us.

Mark Sisson, Portrait of L.Cochran/Republistiltskin, from portfolio Across the Grain, 1997, woodcut, computer type, and sewing on paper, Collection of Mark Sisson.

Mark Sisson, Portrait of L.Cochran/Republistiltskin, from portfolio Across the Grain, 1997, woodcut, computer type, and sewing on paper, Collection of Mark Sisson.

In recognition of the longstanding tradition of excellence in printmaking at Oklahoma State University, Intrigue and Impressions: 25 Years of Printmaking draws from the collection of Mark Sisson, professor of printmaking at OSU since 1989. Sisson received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984 and his prints and drawings have been included in approximately 230 juried and invitational national exhibitions. In addition, he has participated in numerous print exchange portfolios which sparked our interest in curating a show that specifically investigates print networks and portfolios.

Oscar Gillespie, Golden Tuff: Keely’s Drawing, from portfolio Reunion, 2010, engraving and digital print on paper, Collection of Mark Sisson.

Oscar Gillespie, Golden Tuff: Keely’s Drawing, from portfolio Reunion, 2010, engraving and digital print on paper, Collection of Mark Sisson.

This show features prints created within the past twenty-five years by a variety of artists, including Carmon Colangelo, Oscar Gillespie, and Mark Sisson himself. The contributing artists, including Sisson, form a group of interconnected printmakers from across the nation. These printmakers have common ties; some attended a university or worked together while others have crossed paths at annual printmaking conferences. Our goal is to demonstrate how networks of printmakers interact through participation in print exchange portfolios and the variety of techniques, materials, and content these portfolios encompass.  The works selected from each portfolio are some we believe best reflect the portfolio’s themes. Each artist has his or her own style and message, but all are also aware of and shaped by their relationship with the group. The connections between the artists, as well as the intriguing and often innovative artworks that arise out of them, are the central focus of our exhibition.

Intrigue and Impressions: 25 Years of Printmaking will be held June 22nd-August 5th 2016 with a reception and moderated discussion with Mark Sisson on Thursday, June 23rd 5-7pm at the Gardiner Gallery of Art, 108 Bartlett Center, Stillwater, OK.