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UNCHARTED TERRITORIES: A PRINTSCAPE

March 14 – 30,  2012  New Orleans, Louisiana

A Contemporary Art Exhibition for Navigating Currents, the 2012 SGC Printmaking International Conference

"SGCI is the largest print organization in North America. Its annual conference is the biggest annual gathering focused on the field of printmaking. Artists from all 50 states attend the conference. Regular international attendees come from Canada, South and Central America, and Europe. "     www.sgcinternational.org


Exhibition Description

       

Uncharted Territories: A Printscape will be a large-scale collaborative printstallation* occupying The Gallery Spaces at The Healing Center, renovated since Hurricane Katrina.

     

        T

he collaborators are a group of young, emerging artists residing in Louisiana who have worked together previously, in various groupings, on exhibitions such as: Passing Notes, a collaborative installation of printed handmade paper at the 2011 SGC International Conference in St. Louis, MO, Rat Pack, 2008, a group exhibition of prints, Real Jobs, 2009, at the Highwater Gallery in New Orleans, which showed work based the show title and theme, and Lagniappe 7: For Good Measure, a Louisiana State University portfolio exchange of graduate and post-graduate printmakers.

Katrina Andry, May Ann Babcock, Sarah Hayman, Jessie Hornbrook, Rebecca Kreisler, Hannah Sanders, Blake Sanders and Megan Singleton are the artists shaping the exhibition. They reside in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and have exhibited internationally and around the country.

The artists will use the history and existing architecture of the spaces, while simultaneously manipulating it towards conceptual goals. The building is located in New Orleans on St. Claude Avenue. Post- Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, this area emerged as a new arts district.  The neighborhood features more installation-based, new media art and artist cooperative galleries, versus the older Julia Street Arts District, which exists in a more traditional gallery paradigm.           

        The collaborators will transform the rooms into an environment that forces the viewer to navigate the physical space and negotiate evolving currents in printmaking and the revitalization of New Orleans. Large format prints, paired with the nature of installation, dramatically change the relationship of the viewer to the work. If the print and the viewer traditionally occupy separate spaces within a gallery, now the prints will compose a space that completely immerses the viewer, both physically and visually.   

This printstallation will incorporate hand papermaking, large-scale prints, video projection, sound, paper sculpture, found objects and fiber art.  It will expand the boundaries of printmaking by exaggerating scale, combining traditional technique with digital technology and activating the space. This manipulation will change the typical viewing experience into one that is extrasensory. To accomplish this transformation, each artist will contribute different strengths in printmaking, papermaking, sculpture, video and multi-media. The interactions between the artists, working in various Louisiana print shops and directly in the exhibition space, will organically shape the exhibition.

The exhibition will go from ceiling to wall to floor. Existing architectural elements will be incorporated into new forms. Traditional large-format prints will be integrated into the printscape of video projections, paper pulp and sculpture.  Imagery will explore the navigation of place and time, especially as it relates to our immediate landscape, the Mississippi River delta, and its unique culture.

            Uncharted Territories is about the interrelationships between our personal journeys as artists, the evolution of printmaking as a medium, the revitalization of New Orleans, and our sense of place. As emerging artists we are presented with a challenge: to keep with us our rich tradition and history while forging paths into uncharted artistic territory. We are asking the viewer to take a journey with us, to chart their course through a physically immersive printscape. We give them only stars, a map, and a compass.

 

*“In the world of contemporary prints, a fresh format that seems to be popping up everywhere is print-based installation.  In recent years, celebrated contemporary artists Swoon, Nicola López, Ryan McGinness, and others have pushed the boundaries of traditional printmaking techniques to create unique works that have the power, presence, and conceptual rigor of work traditionally associated with “high-brow” media. Like most new trends in art, printstallation has important precedents.” -Sarah Kirk Hanley, Ink: The Lexicon of Tomorrow: Print-Based Installation <http://blog.art21.org/2011/04/08/ink-the-lexicon-of-tomorrow-print-based-installation/ > April 8th, 2011.

 

List of Participants

Katrina Andry, May Ann Babcock, Sarah Hayman, Jessie Hornbrook, Rebecca Kreisler, Hannah Sanders, Blake Sanders, Megan Singleton.

 

Relationship of Exhibition to the Conference Theme, Navigating Currents

As emerging artists, we are especially invested in “charting a course for the future development and growth of the printmaking discipline,” as this conference plans to address. In an age of rapidly expanding technology, we are challenged to build upon traditions, while creating work that is relevant and progressive. The artists involved in this proposed exhibition all actively push the boundaries of printmaking. We are creating a large-scale show that incorporates a wide variety of print-mediums, hand-papermaking, installation, and digital technologies. We share common interests in challenging norms, engaging directly with our environment and facilitating interaction between our work and our viewer. All of our individual work deals directly with our immediate experiences and surroundings.

Uncharted Territories: A Printscape deals with navigation of both the physical landscape of South Louisiana and the Mississippi River and the virtual landscape of the print-world. We chart our own course into the future of printmaking with the creation of such a show. By creating an immersive “printscape” we are setting the viewer upon a similar journey of exploration. In choosing a gallery in a multi-purpose community revitalization center, we challenge the necessity of the traditional gallery format, while contributing directly to an evolving post-Katrina neighborhood. Uncharted Territories is a search for a sense of place, person and print within diverging currents.

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