Prints on Parade

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Come up and see my etchings
I had a lovely time at the opening of the print show celebrating local master printer, Cindi Ettinger. The artist/printer who established her business, Cindi Ettinger Studio, in 1982, has worked with a whopping number of local and New York artists — 75 — producing what are some of the best etchings and other prints in the region. (top image is Daniel Heyman’s “Mark’s Ghost” and “Mark” two prints that flank the entrance to the UArts auditorium)
towbin, janet
The exhibit, in the lobby of the UArts Hamilton Building samples the works of 14 local artists and it’s rich with wonderful imagery by painters, sculptors and drawing artists, a veritable who’s who in Philadelphia — Kate Abercrombie, Phoebe Adams, Astrid Bowlby, Emily Brown, Donald O. Colley, Daniel Heyman, Harold Ivey, Sarah McEneaney, Bruce Pollock, Bill Scott, Anne Seidman, Kevin Strickland, Rochelle Toner and Janet Towbin.

The prints vary from large to small, from abstract to representational and from black and white to gorgeous color. The range of artistic voices in the exhibit is telling. It bespoke a printer with an open embrace of art and artists, no matter what their subject. (image is “Diptych,”2002, an etching by Bill Scott whose three pieces are outstanding in a great show.)

Much of the talk at the opening was of course about the recent presidential election. Everyone ate their cookies and crackers and worried aloud about their moral values. (image is “Scrawl” 2003 by Janet Towbin, a shockingly gestural work for an artist whose work is usually build-ups of tightly repetitive circles.)


Amidst talk about how to deal with life in post 11-2 America, I picked up a little of this and that: The map of United States of Canada/Jesusland had reached everyone — usually more than once; UArts teacher and Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery curator Sid Sachs‘s son Asher, age almost 3, is reading — phonetically; stained glass artist (and the toast of the 2002 Whitney Biennial) Judith Schaechter, is working some new material which will debut at Claire Oliver in May; artist of dark drawings and manic ink on paper installations, Astrid Bowlby, is happily drawing in her studio. See the White Columns artists registry to catch up on some amazing recent installations. (image is Bowlby, center, in front of four of her prints)

Each year since its inception, Ettinger Studios has participated in the Philadelphia Print Collaborative‘s (PPC) portfolio project which matches a local artist with one of six local print shops to produce a limited edition portfolio. This year, Ettinger worked with Vox Populi member and young up and comer, Katie Abercrombie, and the resulting print is a thing of Victorian beauty and swoon — roses, lacey lines and delicate color. (sorry no image at the moment.)

Silicon’s big PPC exhibit


My scanner’s on the bust so I don’t have images for you of the new PPC portfolio. But go look because the prints are great: In addition to Abercrombie, Shelley Spector made a digital collage that merges an image of her sculpture with a digi-fantasy dreamscape; Joy Feasley‘s print is a riff on fire, forests and crystal complications; Anne Seidman‘s brut and delicate lines create layers of landscape; Ben Woodward‘s cartoon about unravelling and connections is sweet and wry; Charles Burwell‘s stripe-heavy,layered world mesmerizes. (image is an earlier Burwell print, “Broken Labyrinth, No. 7 (1997), silkscreen, pastel and watercolor)

Prints from the 2001, 2002 and 2003 PPC portfolios are also on view at the gallery.

Here, as at UArts, talk was of politics, and hand wringing was the order of the night. I did get a few minutes with Burwell to ask him how he liked working with Space 1026 to make his print. The tall and wry-humored artist was thrown off by the physical space at the Space (think college dorm with no cleaning people). But applauded the printer who produced his gorgeous print.

So that’s it for the moment. Later today I’ll have a bit more about the show at the Optimistic, which Libby told you about; about the Africa Visions exhibit at Indigo Arts and about the Atwater Kent Museum‘s new First Friday initiative that includes a video by Kocot and Hatton and a super new Rand-MacNally map of Philadelphia on the Museum’s floor. (Libby took a walk on the Schuylkill expressway and got to her home in West Philadelphia in jig time.)

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