The Wood Engravers’ Network Triennial Exhibition at Asheville BookWorks, May 8
Wood Engravers’ Network Triennial Exhibition is the second juried exhibition sponsored by the Wood Engravers’ Network. The traveling exhibit features 60 prints by 51 artists from Belgium, Canada, Finland, Ireland, the United States and the United Kingdom.Works by both members and non-members of the Wood Engravers’ Network are surprisingly bold for their modest size, revealing a rich diversity of styles and subjects that prove this historic medium is robust and thriving. Joan Boudreau, Curator of the Graphic Arts Collection at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of American History juried the show. When looking at engravings, it is important to consider the medium’s historic association to book illustration, graphic design and narrative. As a result of this history, it is natural to see those influences played out in the contemporary exploration of the medium.
Wood engraving is a reductive technique broadly referred to as relief printmaking. Cutting away areas of the block produces areas that will not print. The engraving process involves the use of burins, also used in copper engraving – different tools than the gouges and knives used in plank-grain processes such as woodcut and linocut. Wood engravings utilize the end grain of hard, dense wood to attain minute details. End grain is best illustrated by imagining a cut tree trunk, where the tree’s growth rings are visible. Wood’s gradually rising price and rigorous processing requirements have led artists to seek out alternative materials to engrave. Artists are also using materials such as Corian and Mystera (counter top materials,) Resingrave (a resin composite material,) and some plastics: HIPS (high impact polystyrene), plexiglass and Sintra. Finally, to achieve a print, the flat raised relief areas are inked and pressure is applied to transfer ink to paper, creating a mirror image impression of the block.
For collectors and art enthusiasts, printmaking processes create multiple originals in limited editions, offering an affordable entry into collecting art or simply owning an original art work.
Wood engraving’s intimate scale, minute detail and fine textured grays are emblematic of this graphic medium. American artisans such as Timothy Cole, Lynd Ward, John DePol and Leonard Baskin exemplified the mastery and artistry of the medium in their times. WEN’s traveling exhibit connects the tradition of the medium with a contemporary context, continuing a celebration of the medium today.
– Joanne Price, WEN President and Exhibition Organizer
Opening Reception: Friday May 8, 2015 at 6pm
Exhibition: May 8 – July 3, 2015
428 1/2 Haywood Road
West Asheville, NC
Exhibition is free and open to the public
Hours: Tuesday – Friday 1-5pm and Saturday 1-4pm
Exhibiting artists include:
Maria Arango Diener (Nevada), Shirley Bernstein (Connecticut), Dave Bruner (Florida), John Center (Illinois), Evan Charney (Massachusetts), Paul Constance (Virginia), Laurie Corral (North Carolina), Nancy Darrell (North Carolina), Jeremy DeJiacomo (Georgia), Tony Drehfal (Wisconsin), Colleen Dwire (California), Andy English (Cambridgeshire, UK), Leslie Evans (Massachusetts), Andy Farkas (North Carolina), Allan Greenier (Connecticut), R.P. Hale (New Hampshire), John Haney (Ontario, Canada), Jon Hinkel (Minnesota), Eric Hoffman (Rhode Island), Anna Hogan (Massachusetts), Mirka Hokkanen (Finland), Judith Jaidinger (Illinois), Dale Kennedy (Minnesota), Cindy Koopman (Minnesota), Dirk E. Lee (Montana), Channing Lefebvre (New York), Miriam MacGregor (Cheltenham, UK) Susan Mannion (Ireland), Michael McGarvey (New Jersey), John McWilliams (South Carolina), Joel Moline (Minnesota), Carl Montford (Washington), Jameson Moore (New Jersey), David Moyer (Pennsylvania), William Myers (Minnesota), Jennifer O’Keefe (Massachusetts), Sylvia Pixley (Michigan), Sylvia Portillo (Washington), Joanne Price (Kentucky), Christopher M. Register (Virginia), Abigail Rorer (Massachusetts), Anders Sandstrom (indiana), John Steins (Yukon, Canada), Marsha Sweet (Ohio), James G. Todd (Montana), Nikki Vahle-Schneider (Minnesota), Manuel Vermeire (Brussels, Belgium), Richard Wagener (California), Jim Westergard (Alberta, Canada), Donna Westerman (California), Deborah Wood (Québec, Canada)