This online exhibition is now live with over 125 works of art on display.
Undergraduate students Tess Murphy and Jess Dowell used their current work-from-home independent studies at Normal Editions in the Wonsook Kim School of Art at Illinois State University to organize an online exhibition entitled Printmaker, Interrupted. Normal Editions is hosting the exhibition to encourage creative problem solving to generate art speaking to printmaking in some fashion.
While the global response to COVID-19 caused colleges and universities to move all courses to online and alternative formats to accommodate social distancing rules, many art students are displaced from their usual classroom studios. Equipment-dependent art media, such as printmaking with its presses, matrix-making gear, and work spaces, adjusted the remaining projects of the semester to utilize materials the “stay-at-home” students have available in their individual situations rather than the on-campus studios.
These Normal Editions students are reaching out to their peers in similar situations to highlight the creative work still being produced by students and faculty alike despite separation from expected studio facilities. Printmaker, Interrupted is intended to bring community awareness of this art to a wider audience via digital presentation in the online exhibition. Plans for the exhibition also include arranging the images into a printable digital PDF-zine to be made available in the future.
This exhibition was open to all current college and university students and faculty who are disconnected from their usual printmaking studios yet still producing work “at home.” The focus of the exhibition is the creative results being produced in the spirit of printmaking while using alternative materials and methods for visual creative expression. Therefore, all media in the creation of art are welcome in the exhibition which will include the digital images of the works submitted.
Many students and several faculty members from over 50 schools responded to the call for entries which was open for just two weeks, April 13 – 27, 2020. In total, 126 entries are included in the online exhibition. The works come from 27 state and three countries outside the USA showing diverse and creative examples of art produced from home despite limitations while being Printmakers, Interrupted. Some of works directly address COVID19, while others explore related issues such as interpersonal relationships, isolation, and communication methods. Some artists were able to adapt traditional printmaking techniques in limited fashion in their home settings while others discovered alternative uses, methods, and techniques to convey their messages.
Many artists included a short description of their alternative methods and challenges overcome in the creative process. As a group, the works span the range of human emotions, carrying the views through a journey of serious topics, playful presentations, somber images, joyful visuals with artworks which are surprising, comforting, confusing, somewhat disturbing, uniquely delightful, and ultimately uniting in their mutual expression of determination to continue creating work as an artist irregardless of limitations imposed by the global pandemic response.
The exhibition is presented online in the Exhibitions section of the Normal Editions website beginning May 4, 2020.
Tess Murphy, Independent Study undergraduate student at Normal Editions, is a Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Printmaking with a minor in Women and Gender Studies (anticipated graduation 2021) at Illinois State University. She is a Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts Council member. Awards include Normal Editions Workshop Best Undergraduate Print award and the Jen Franklin Memorial Award from the 2019 Student Annual exhibition.
Jess Dowell, Independent Study undergraduate student at Normal Editions, is a double major: Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking and Painting with a minor in Art History (anticipated graduation 2021) at Illinois State University. Awards include Elizabeth Stein Art Scholarship and the Irving S. Tick Memorial Award for Printmaking from the 2020 Student Annual exhibition.
Veda Rives Aukerman, Interim Director of Normal Editions, is the instructor for independent study students in the Workshop. She holds a Master of Arts in Printmaking from Illinois State, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking and Drawing from Illinois Wesleyan University, and an Associate in Arts from Lincoln Land Community College. She has served Normal Editions in a variety of roles since 1992, receiving the University Distinguished Service Award for Administrative/Professional employees in 2014.
Questions about the exhibition may be directed to the organizers via email to normaleditionsworkshop@IllinoisState.edu.