Assorted printmaking styles coalesce at Lockhart Gallery show

Lockhart Gallery’s latest exhibit, “Printmaking 2013: a juried exhibition,” offers a wide range of works from lithography, woodblock prints, serigraphs, silkscreens and various other media to create delicate, political and jarring prints. The title “Printmaking 2013” is a bit miscellaneous in theme, with no real guiding concept. Director of Galleries Hawkins said that making the exhibition open-ended allowed for more creativity.

“Sometimes you need to check with the industry to see what people are doing,” she said. “There are always new processes [in printmaking], particularly digital.”

The final exhibition showcases work from 42 artists hailing from locations across the nation, including seven or eight local artists.

“Edges of Memory and Reality,” an abstract photo-print by John Kosboth, is a particular standout. In his piece, Kosboth plays with photo manipulation and design in order to create a vastness of abstract texture. Its deep oranges, blacks and blues are striking in a way that is reminiscent of the chaos that exists in our own minds. The process is self-described as torn-apart digital photographs or “emotional landscapes.” Kosboth then replicates, stretches and shrinks these photographs into a cohesive work.

Kosboth’s pieces focus on the story beyond. In this case, he succeeds in depicting the mind as a cluster of framed images and memories, building and destroying our ideas of reality.

Advancements in technology have not ceased to revolutionize printmaking and its processes, but some pieces of work were devoid of computer processing and utilized more mechanical methods.

Victoria Star Varner’s “Arrangement #2” from her Crossed Paths series exemplifies a more raw style of printmaking. This piece consists of three engravings on silk tissue, 7 inches by 7 inches each, made by the means of a technique called American trick roping.

The piece highlights crucial elements of printmaking, specifically layering. The charcoal etchings define the different elements in the square pieces, layer upon layer. The lack of color sets the piece apart from many of the other artworks that are lush with digitized colors.

Star Varner’s description of the piece sums up her emphasis on the importance of traditional printmaking.

“Because the engravings are directly related to … Western horse culture, they document a part of American national identity,” she said.

“Printmaking 2013” is an exciting glimpse at the direction of contemporary art and the variety. It is a local opportunity to appreciate the stories offered by the artists and their work. The exhibition runs through Oct. 19.