Prints from Newfoundland

Guide and Protector of All the Children (detail), Jerry Evans, lithograph, 2000
(scanned from Burnaby Art Gallery invitation)

The Burnaby Art Gallery has been featuring quite a few print exhibitions this past year and this one sounds the most exciting yet: The Power of Place – 30 Years of Printmaking in Newfoundland is on from January 14-February 27, 2005.

This exhibition includes 50 prints and one artist’s book by 13 artists selected from the archives of the St. Michael’s Printshop in St. John’s, Newfoundland. It is curated by Patricia Grattan, director of the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador and organized and circulated by that gallery.

The Printshop’s spring 2003 newsletter on their website states:

The Power of Place opened at the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador on March 14 to explore the role that St. Michael’s Printshop has played in the development of Canadian printmaking practice and to mark its 30th Anniversary. In attempt to select the work for the exhibition from the over 2000 works in the printshop archives, curator Patricia Grattan “chose to focus on individual artists from Newfoundland and elsewhere.” She wanted to show “artists whose work and art practice have been shaped by St. Michael’s, or artists who have helped to shape its operations and objectives (and the influence often has gone both ways). They include its primary founders, visiting master printers, Newfoundland artists who have gone on to earn their master printer chops, artists who also served as shop co-ordinators, board members, and some who are acknowledged as leading Canadian printmakers and print innovators.
… (from Patricia Grattan’s curatorial text.)

St. Michael’s Printshop has played an important role in the development of printmaking in Canada. It was founded in 1972 by artists Heidi Oberheide and Don Wright. At the time, there were no accredited art teaching programs in St. John’s and the studio quickly became, and continues to be, and important element in the development of professional and experimental artists.

The Visiting Artist program is internationally well-known and sought out, and some of my printmaker friends on the Westcoast have taken that opportunity, such as Taiga Chiba and Manuel Lau in 2003.

I am really looking forward to viewing the works of these important printmakers who live or have worked for a while in Newfoundland, on the very far away opposite coast of Canada. For my away-from-Vancouver readers, I’ve found links for all the artists so that you can see some examples of their work, since the exhibit itself, sadly, has no web page and the Burnaby Art Gallery’s listing is very minimal. if you are interested in learning more about printmaking and the history of St. Michael’s Printshop, do visit their website.

The artists: Anne Meredith Barry, Sylvia Bendzsa, Jerry Evans, Helen Gregory, Don Holman, Harold Klunder, Christine Koch, Heidi Oberheide, Sharon Puddester, William B. Ritchie, Otis Tamasauskas, David Umholtz and Don Wright

ADDED: Please see my post with photos about our visit to this show

January 9, 2005 in Art Exhibitions, Other artists, Printmaking by Marja-Leena