Up & Coming Weekly

April 04, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1496320

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Page 13 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM APRIL 5 - 11, 2023 UCW 13 'The Visual Conversation: Artists Who Teach' New exhibition opens at Gallery 208 by SONI MARTIN COVER e Visual Conversation: Artists Who Teach exhibition opens at Gallery 208 on April 6. e exhibition is the result of a group of public school art teachers who attended an eight-hour enrichment workshop using non-toxic printmaking techniques. For this exhibition, artists who teach have shared their voices in an experimental medium that they are able to share with their students in the classroom. After registering for the workshop, the artists/teachers only brought their sketchbooks, some basic tools, a lot of creativity, and an opportunity to meet the demands of a printmaking marathon. A day filled with experi- menting and new processes resulted in successful prints for the exhibition to share with the public. Sponsored by a grant from the Fayetteville and Cumberland County Arts Council, the workshop enabled yours truly to have the supplies and durables available needed for each participant to create up to 30 mono- prints while working through the processes. e exhibition reflects a group of artists' courage to explore ways to expand upon their regular ways of working while applying new processes and expanding upon their ideas. e creative stages of preparation, incubation, insight, evaluation, and elaboration have been replaced with an open-ended collaborative period of time in which each artist's work evolves from improvision, experi- mentation, and adapting to technical challenges. e group (Nameral Graybeal, Alfie Frederick, Angela Williams, Kyle Hard- ing, Manuela Smith, Adrian Solomon, Tiara Siner, Rick Kenner, Kathleen Fair and Chantel Dorisme) all met the challenges of the workshop: let go of preconceived ideas about how their work should look; instead, adapt to immediacy! Preconceived relationships between composition and scale, structure and space, tone and color, shape, and line were replaced with a new perceptual awareness of the potential of each for- mal relationship in the new works. Collaborations in the workshop played a critical role in supporting and stimulating the creative process since dynamic dialogue and exchange between artists took place. Each artist took advantage of the opportunity to experiment with technical processes in a medium they are not accustomed to while embracing different modes of using the material, new ways to conceptualize their work, and getting feedback from the class. Not only was the workshop an occasion for teachers to learn new techniques for the students in their art classes; but, equally important, it was an opportunity for teachers to give themselves the gift of what they give to their students: the joy of exploring their individual ideas in a safe and encouraging creative environment and having the opportunity to explore image making processes in a different way. Each artist can now practice using non-toxic materials and printing without a press in their own studio or classroom and has benefitted from a health movement in traditional print- making that took place in the 1980s. Keith Howard, a pioneer in safer printmaking techniques in printmak- ing developed a gelatin-based photo etching technique, known as the How- ard process, which helped to reshape a paradigm shift towards a safer work environment. Howard's influential book titled "Non-Toxic Printmaking Techniques" in the 1990s influenced the "green" professional printmaking studios and for artists to be able to practice printmaking in their homes. Even today the research continues, and a significant number of manufacturers have developed soy and acrylic-based alternatives. e Visual Conversation: Artists Who Teach is evidence of the transfor- mative power of process and experi- mentation. Each artist began with an open-minded way to rethink visual structures and ended up with a new way to convey meaning and intent. Visitors to the gallery will hopefully experience the same transformation that took place with each artist during the workshop — to experience something outside of themselves and then reconnect on a very personal level. e public is invited to the opening reception of e Visual Conversation: Artists Who Teach exhibition at Gallery 208 on April 6 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. e exhibition will remain up until May 30. e hours at the gallery are Monday — ursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information call 910-484-6200. Tiara Siner SONI MARTIN, Gallery 208 Curator. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Adrian Solomon Rick Kenner Chantel Dorisme Kyle Harding

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