31ST NATIONAL DRAWING & PRINT COMPETITIVE EXHIBITION
Juried by Doreen Bolger, Former Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art
About the Exhibition
For 31 years, the annual National Drawing and Print Competitive Exhibition at Gormley Gallery has provided the community with a glimpse of contemporary artistic practices happening on a national level. Each year an outside juror representing a local museum or arts institution serves as curator for the exhibition, selecting the artworks for the show and awarding a purchase prize to one or more pieces. Those pieces become part of the permanent collection of Notre Dame of Maryland University and are displayed across campus.
About the Juror
Doreen Bolger retired in 2015 after 17 years as Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art. During her tenure, she oversaw a vast transformation of the museum: instituting free admission to the collection, reopening the grand historic entrance, renovating and reinstalling galleries, refocusing attention on the permanent collection, and perhaps most notably, forging an enduring connection with local artists and the local community. Dr. Bolger herself has remained an integral part of the arts community in Baltimore through her engagement with organizations such as the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, the Charles Street Development Corporation, and the WYPR Community Advisory board, among others. She is the President of the Board of Trustees of the Creative Alliance and the Vice Chair of the Board of Maryland Citizens for the Arts. A constant presence in galleries and arts spaces across the city of Baltimore, Dr. Bolger continues to curate exhibitions and to collect the work of local artists.
Virtual Gallery Talk
Saturday, September 12, 5pm. Watch a recording here.
VIRTUAL GALLERY TALK
Juror Doreen Bolger introduces the exhibition's themes and invites artists to speak about their work
MEET THE ARTISTS
Rhonda Smith discusses her work
Notes on the process by DeAnn L. Prosia
My images, which are all created with cross-hatched lines (see close up pictures), begin with five layers of tone/values.
I take a copper plate, coated with a thin layer of ground (think of it like a thin coat of wax that you can scratch off with your fingernail) and draw through it to the copper, with an etching needle. I only focus on the “darkest” areas of the image: windows, sections of the fire escape, etc. Then I put the plate in a ferric chloride acid bath where the acid eats away at the exposed copper lines creating grooves in the copper. I take the plate out after 20 minutes or so and rinse it with water to stop the etching process. Then, I work on the “next darkest” areas of the image and put it back in the acid bath. Those newer areas will start to etch, AND the areas that I worked on previously – the “darkest” areas - will continue to get darker and always be darker than the “next darkest” areas. I will continues doing this until I have five layers of tone/values.
The whole idea is that the longer the etched lines have been in the acid bath the deeper and wider they become and the more ink they will hold. They will appear darker than other etched lines that may have been in the acid bath for only six minutes (vs. sixty).
Once I have the five layers of tone/value completed I clean off and then print the plate to see my progress. The picture titled, “City Escape 1st Pull” shows the etching after I have completed the first round of layers. This is when I can see what the image looks like and determine if I need to do more work on the plate. If so, I coat the plate again with the ground (which is transparent enough for me to see the work I have already done) and work on areas that I feel need to be darker.
After etching the plate further, I will then again print the plate. This is what you see in the picture titled, “City Escape 2nd Pull”. If you look closely you can see the changes.
I have a video on my Facebook page that shows me doing the second printing of this piece. You can find it at DeAnn L. Prosia – artist.
Artist statement by Meena Khalili
The child of an immigrant, I have established a sense of peace in what it means to be an outsider. The works I create are a record of my experience. These drawings become a journal of discovering new people and places. My drawings reflect an intimate daily ritual of discovery in hopes of capturing the life of the city by using pen, ink and collage processes in small accordion fold books. I travel with my sketchbooks and tools on a mission to create images with a pulse, which exude the experience of my surroundings. As a first-generation Iranian American, my fascination with geography, impermanence, history and translation informs my work.
Collage is used throughout this work to develop a narrative between text and image for the viewer. I find this most appropriate as the city itself is a collage of sounds, images, billboards, historical sites and churches. Thus, a "text"-ural history is incorporated into the process of image creation; most of the papers used are found in antique shops within the metro area of the city being drawn, and many of them date from the 1800's to the mid-20th century.
Why is it important to document a city?
As an artist and designer I am inclined to organize, archive and record. A city is a living organism. Each city in the series behaves similarly to most small-to-mid-sized cities across America: Some of the businesses archived in the project were closed down by the project's final day, some spaces revitalized and opened with new life. Even the signage of a city speaks to its uniqueness. The Drawn Daily Series continues to pause daily and observe a city through the lens of a curious newcomer.
About "Blackbirds" by Whitney Sherman
This 4 color screen print with cast paper appliquéd bird is a variation on a theme I’ve used over the years. The imagery originally emerged from a commissioned editorial piece on finding faculty of color in private schools. A detail from that commission was harvested and translated into a dark moody landscape using black, dark green, process blue and gloss inks. It is contemplative and requires time for one's eye to adjust to see all of the resting birds in the tree branches. Night time vision can be tricky with certain details lost. In the print, the trees and birds are flattened in contrast to the dimensional bird in flight yet the entire dark scape also opens up one's imagination on what might be out there beyond our ability to see it.
Whitney Sherman is a multi-faceted artist. She was trained as a photographer and has worked as a print designer. As an award-winning illustrator, Sherman uses drawing, collage, linocut, and design mixing analog and digital worlds. One of her giclée prints Odd Facts about Eggs was recently purchased by Praxis Gallery/Philadelphia for the Revival Hotel in Baltimore. Her work has been exhibited in Tokyo, London, Jerusalem, and the US at Gallery Nucleus/San Francisco, Giant Robot/Los Angeles, in traveling exhibitions with the Norman Rockwell Museum/Stockbridge as well as with the Library of Congress exhibition and book Drawn to Purpose, American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists. At MICA, she is the Founding Director of the MFA Illustration Practice, and Co-Director of Dolphin Press & Print. This year she was awarded the Educator of the Year by the Society of Illustrators/NY. She is a contributing writer and associate editor of the History of Illustration textbook (Bloomsbury/NY). Sherman conducts workshops around the world based on her book Playing with Sketches. Her handmade work in limited edition housewares for Pbody Dsign is inspired by her sketchbook, history, visual culture, travel and gardening.
Dolphin Press & Print Documentation
Dimensions: 14.5” x 19.5”
Medium: Screenprint and Cast Paper on Arches 88 paper
Collaborating Printers: Nick Karvounis, Wesley Stuckey, Ian Jackson, Julia Petrino, Alison Grimes. Austin Whitsel
Project Director: Gail Deery
The artist created original images in graphite on matte Dura-Lar which were scanned and digitally rendered. The films were exposed to aluminum-framed 230 and 305 mesh screen and printed by hand with TW Graphics® water-based 5500 and 5000 Series ink. The sculptural addition to the paper was a 100% cast cotton pulp rubber mold made form from an original clay rendition.
30 Numeric Edition
Artist Statement by Jason Guynes
San Miniato al Monte is from a series of work that is current and ongoing. The concepts behind this series are intentionally unresolved and largely unanalyzed as maintaining a spontaneity and openness is essential to the process. I begin these pieces on-site and pull from the environment around me. San Miniato al Monte is in Florence, Italy. Overlooking the city, it is a sublime location that encourages a transcendent perspective. This piece and the other works in the series seem to hold a multitude of meanings for me that are tortuously interlaced, and the most that I know of them is that they are highly personal, mystical and visceral reactions to place. They are an attempt to capture memory, feeling, and the subconscious.
Sanzi Kermes discusses her work
Artist statement by Tyrone Weedon
"Behind me is East North Avenue and that is where I live. This is my home
… It has been through good times and bad times but my family, we’re
always close… A lot of craziness down here in this neighborhood, the
traffic, the bar hangouts, the drugs… I like going places where it's less
stressful and less noisy. I love going to the library, bookstores, comic shops,
movies, art classes, and places that I never went before… I like sitting at
the bottom of the tree to stay in the shade and sketch everything I see in
the park, and what is going through my mind… and think about life and
my future… getting married and starting a family so I can play catch with my son. Maybe someday in the future, but right now, I have got a lot to
learn and a long way to go… but I am doing everything the best I can for
me, my family, my friends, and my support system…"
Artist statement by Sarah Sipling
My work deals with the strengths and weaknesses of the human condition. I work in series using many different media to layer the many meanings of each project. Traditional and digital printmaking combines with drawing, painting, photography and written texts in each series. “More than me,” a series of dry point prints and photogravures explores a figurative theme. The quick lines of the dry points represent the motion and memory of each piece. The gravures use the same images, with tonal ranges and abstracted spaces taking the place of the scratched lines. Some of the images contain small amounts of text, short phrases or titles, providing a way in which to read the work.
Artist statement by Amanda Joy Brown
“Audience” is a piece that I’ve been wanting to make for a while. It is a piece contained within the work in the “Crowd Series” I’ve been making for the last decade. Originally, when I started to paint crowds, it was an attempt at wrapping my mind around complex, interconnected structures. I loved the idea that a large group of people, rather than a single person, could be the subject of a painting, a sort of ‘expanded portrait’. The paint is drizzled like honey onto the canvas, creating web of calligraphic line, both delineating and dissolving into form and rhythm.
Usually, at a theater or an event, the attention and focus is on one or a small group of individuals. In “Audience,” I turned the attention onto the people in the audience, mainly because it is not the natural place to focus, and there is so much to read in an audience’s expression, posture, and reaction to the main event. The power of attention seems to lie with the performer onstage, but the collective audience’s attention and approval or disapproval is on what the interaction hinges. While this depicts people together in one space, on a digital dimension, social media has manifested the importance of crowds in a very concrete way- crowds are not simply viewers but active participants, instigators, and content creators. Whether on a digital platform or IRL, people are inherently interconnected due to the thing that draws them together or the space they occupy- they form a microcosm of personality and opinion, affecting and reacting to each other. In this piece, the viewer is looking at the audience, who is looking right back at the viewer, as if they are the main event.
Artist statement by Ralph Steeds
The signs and symbols I have used in my work for many years have become my artistic vocabulary. By using this visual language I hope to develop a dialogue that will pass back and forth between the viewer, the work and my self. By Mixing metaphors and paradoxes I wish for magic and always hope to produce more than decoration. My efforts have been toward finding the forms that fit the needs of my imagination. For the last few years or so my printmaking has been concerned with the state of politics in the United States of America and the world in general. I am deeply worried that "The Dream that is America is ending". My Lithograph "The House is On Fire,#2" Is using this obvious metaphor to illustrate how concerned I am by the incompetent and dangerous actions of our elected leaders in power.
Artist statement by Jim Resnick
I never really plan my drawings. I put on my headphones and start drawing to the music. The first image that developed was the "ape head" shape. I didn't like it much at first and almost trashed it. I then added the flower and the palm tree and butterfly and the whole thing just flowed from there. I had recently watched the movie "Terra" and that became the inspiration for the rest of the drawing. I must have watched the movie at least 10 times over the 20 months it took me to complete the drawing. I tried to portray "Mankind" overtaking and attacking Earth. It's supposed to convey the tension between the beauty of nature and manmade pollution.
Artist statement by John Judge
"In All Stripes" was created in response to the Trump administration's treatment of immigrants at the U.S./Mexico border. The title is a hybridization of the phrases "of all stripes" and "in all shapes" and alludes to the diversity that immigration has brought to the United States, a diversity that has helped create our rich and dynamic culture. The title also refers to the horizontal stripes faintly evident in the drawing, which are reminiscent of the stripes on the American flag.
About "On the Stoop" by Greg McLemore
This piece is part of a series of surreal drawings of Baltimore, which were recently published in On the Stoop: A New Exploration of City Living.
Brick, concrete, broken glass, and busted spirits. While city living has its perks, this collection of drawings and wry commentary explores the dark side of city life. The artist/ author gives his account of life within one of the most strange, violent, and beautiful cities in America.
About "The Accounting of Canton Plantation" by Rose Anderson
The statue of John O'Donnell of Baltimore, who owned around 70 enslaved people at the time of his death in 1805. As of this writing in December 2019 his statue still stands in the center of a public square that bears his name, on the Baltimore City street that bears his name, in the neighborhood of Canton, which is named for one of his plantations.
Artist statement by Janet Maher
The name of the ancient Greek earth goddess, Gaia, which came to mean Earth, evolved to the idea that all aspects of our planet work together and affect each other like one organism. With the planet fully immersed in the Anthropocene period, I choose to create images that can be considered visually at either micro or macro levels. I draw out organic forms that suggest life emerging from or in balance in balance with an underlying chaos.
Re-use and recycling is an inherent part of my life. In considering humans’ impact upon the earth I continue my longstanding studio practice of beginning works with pre-existing materials and integrating a build-up of layers that I create through types of collage. Images within Gaia all began with heat fusing copier toner dust onto paper, then attempting to build an image of beauty from what had appeared initially to simply be dirt.
Artist statement by Betti Pettinati-Longinotti
My work explores the relationship between abstract expression and subjective reality. With influences as diverse as Richard Pousette-Dart and Jim Dine, new tensions are crafted from seasonal reality and a personal symbolic discourse.
Ever since I was a child the observation of the changing seasons have nurtured me. Several years ago I began an artistic practice of graphite drawing on top of textured-layered oil painted surfaces. Many of these explorations have been abstract expressive, but this series explores my love for the fig tree, which associates to personal memory and dream. Nature is something we all observe and have throughout time. The underlying of chaos and dichotomy of gentleness is a reaction to life.
Betti Pettinati-Longinotti works in drawing, painting, mixed media and glass. She received a BFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, an MA from the University of the Arts/ Philadelphia, in Art Education with a studio major in Glass, and an MFA in Visual Arts through the Lesley University, College of Art and Design.
Her work has been shown internationally. Betti is a juried member of Artworks Gallery and Piedmont Craftsmen, and also hold membership in the American Glass Guild.
Artist statement by Amy Fix
Moving to Maryland was an exciting adventure full of opportunities and unexplored wooded trails and cities with waterfront and mountainside destinations. It was also a departure from Amy Fix’s life in Georgia, which had friends, family, and comfort. As she adjusted, she introduced a new 'tea time' routine to help create stability and positivity in her family’s new life.
Amy used graphite and carbon pencil to capture her twenty-month-old sipping tea with his stuffed monkey, and embraced light and delicate shading to recreate the happiness of those shared moments.
With a Master’s Degree in Fine Art (MFA) in Painting, and a BFA in Drawing, Amy has received several awards and scholarships, including the College of Graduate Studies Research and Travel Award and the Carolyn Joyner Memorial Scholarship. She has been featured in the “Baltimore Sun” and the “Exploring the Arts” magazine at Georgia Southern University. Amy exhibits internationally and has artwork in LaGrange Art Museum’s permanent collection.
Amy is currently a member of Harford Artists Association and the Artists’ Emporium in Havre de Grace, and resides in Harford County where she continues to sip tea with her husband and three-year old son.
Facebook & Instagram: @amyfixart
Artist statement by Carol A. O'Neill
Drawing is a passion of mine - it is the essence of my work. I believe drawing offers a passage within, a direct connection to the imagination, memories, dreams and underlying thoughts and emotions. My drawing Blackberry Rush was created from observation and photographs I took at a nearby natural area, where I often find the inspiration for my work.
Carol A. O’Neill
Kathy McGhee discusses her work
Artist statement by Patricia Card
How I created the pulled print “Dawn and Dusk”
I create art using my intuition as my muse, letting the creative feeling flow to capture a pose or an idea. Using symbolism helps in making a statement whether it’s noticeable or not.
Planning a project is not what my art is about, just being in “the moment” while I study my preliminary drawings deciding what will or will not work. Sometimes I change my mind on the spur of the moment which I feel brings a spontaneity to my work.
The plates for the pulled prints were done using soft ground for the line work and heating rosin on the plates, an aquatint, for producing the different shades from black to gray in both plates. I drew and etched both plates at the same time for a consistent depth of line and gradation.
My pulled print titled “Dawn and Dusk” started with a drawing of a women gently resting her head on her hand. I like the feeling of her relaxing posture as she sits with her pet rooster who signals a new day. Maybe both women are having memories from the past or dreaming of the future or are they one woman? You decide.
As I refined my sketch, I had already decided to incorporate a second etching plate. Both plates the same size making a diptych mirroring the original drawing. I wanted to show a duality of time and space, night and day and darkness and light. However, the images, as I saw them, where more about a polarity of time and space. The beginning of a day that brings beautiful sunrises and a new start and the end of the day that equally brings beautiful sunsets and rest. I gave each woman a name, “Dawn” which is the lighter woman and “Dusk” the darker woman. Both the same and equal but different.
Artist statement by Annette Wilson Jones
The title of this drawing, "We Will Teach Our Children to Fight the Flames" refers to the wildfires that were raging in California at the time (and continue to rage now), the gunfire in Baltimore and elsewhere that continues to rage, and the gobal fires of bigotry and hatred. I have to believe that we can and will teach our children to see those flames when they begin to spark and to put out the fires before they spread. They will learn by our example.
The drawing began with a rubbing, a print, of the stump of a very large, very old tree that had died slowly, over several years. The City cut it down in stages and it was painful to see; I wanted to memorialize it and made dozens of rubbings. Above that: a rubbing of tiles from the entryway of a Baltimore store that had been torn down and was in the backlot of Current Space, rubbings of wooden floors, and the texture of a fake wood door. The combination represents the loss of home: forests and green spaces, neighborhoods and communities, history and culture.
As an analogy of hearing impairment, I am interested in building layers of text from different sources; the text is erased and overlaid so that words are partially legible, sometimes obscured and sometimes very clear but out of context. The text, here, was hand-copied from news articles about wild fire(s) and overlaid with drawings based on newspaper photographs of wildfires in California.
Artist statement by Robert Krinsky
“Winter Trees” is part of a series of prints and drawings developed from a hike among aspen in Colorado during a snowfall. This artistic exploration has begun for me a new attentiveness to the aesthetic of tree bark. Each tree has its own complexion, texture and pattern — even within the same species. Each is to be appreciated for its uniqueness. I am fascinated by the unity of the abstract pattern of bark on the one hand, and on the other hand, the tangible aspect the bark pattern being a functional part of the tree’s vitality. The bark aesthetic is an expression of bark’s function. The experience has given me a deeper and broader appreciation of trees beyond their importance for such utilitarian matters as shade, shelter, food for people and animals, homes for birds, and oxygen for breath.
Artist statement by Lori Brook Johnson
The germinating idea for Laundry for When I Die was derived from a small passage in a Flannery O’Connor short story. In this fictional account, a grandmother is preoccupied with how she will dress for a road trip. This unwavering focus is due to her need to be perceived as a proper lady by others—by whomever, really— in case she dies in a car accident during the trip and must relinquish the care of her well-dressed yet deceased body to strangers. I used this O’Connor passage and the face of Delacroix’s Orphan Girl at the Cemetery as a vehicle to envision another world that curates and rearranges literature, imagination, and art history. From these jumping off points, I envisioned a young woman doing all she can to ward off the looming death of her mother. She is controlling what she can in their immediate surroundings but cannot control the inevitable.
This is a moment of duality, of both resolve and vulnerability. Pastels then become the ideal earthy material to speak to this account. Pastels are inherently vulnerable—they crumble, they travel, they dust, they dissolve. Conversely, pastels also embrace an essential resolute character—they layer, they saturate, they mark, they grip.
The human has the ability to both nourish and fear. We have a need to protect and absorb. The pastel both grips and dissolves; it travels and saturates. The human and the material have grace and resolve, specificity and generality. Both, vulnerable to all.
Artist Statement by Christy Bergland
“Mining the Rocks” series begins on site with a brown ink drawing of the rocks at Biddeford Pool, Maine. Inside the studio defining the drawing leads to “finding” images from antiquity and/or the natural world. Then begins my collaging into the drawing of images of relics and creatures. The whole process becomes a deep dive through time into the psyche.