“From the Ground Up: A Look at Prints,” an exhibition of historical and contemporary prints, will be on view in the Mesaros Galleries at the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center, beginning Thursday, Jan. 19.
The exhibitions include “Influential Historical Prints” in the Paul Mesaros Gallery and “Critical Contemporary Prints” in the Laura Mesaros Gallery.
They are co-curated by Robert Bridges, curator of the Mesaros Galleries and of the Art Museum of WVU, and by Associate Professor Joseph Lupo, who is head of the Printmaking program in the WVU School of Art and Design.
“This is an impressive array of art that gives visitors to the Mesaros Galleries insight into the strength of the Art Museum of WVU’s collection, as well as the incredible variety and ingenuity that exists in print media,” Bridges said.
“One of the exceptional aspects of the Art Museum’s holdings is the print collection. Some of the earliest donations to the collection were prints, and the artwork spans 400 years of the medium.”
The current exhibition has been divided between the galleries, with the Paul Mesaros Gallery featuring historical prints that have defined the medium throughout history and the Laura Mesaros Gallery displaying contemporary prints created in the past 25 years.
Bridges said the contemporary prints reflect the innovation that has redefined and advanced the medium.
“I continue to be impressed with the tremendous educational resource the University has in the Art Museum’s collection of prints,” Lupo said. “As an artist and as a professor, I admire the range and depth of these prints, from the past and the present, and in it, I find inspiration for myself and my students.
“The quality of the prints is evident—they speak to everyone.”
Both exhibitions at the Mesaros Galleries will be open through March 8.
In addition, School of Art and Design alumnus Jacob Lewis, who is director of Pace Prints in Chelsea, New York City, will present a visiting artist lecture Thursday, Jan. 19, at 5 p.m. in the Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (Room 200A).
The opening reception for the exhibitions will follow at 6 p.m. at the Galleries. All events are free and open to the public.
Lewis received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at WVU, with a focus on painting and printmaking. During his time at WVU he did an internship at the Pace Editions print shop, where he worked on publications by both Chuck Close and Jim Dine, under the guidance of master printers Bill Hall and Ruth Lingen.
After college, Lewis was given the opportunity to work for Pace Prints in the gallery as part of the sales team. In October of 2007 the Pace Prints Chelsea gallery was opened under his vision and direction.
The gallery’s mission is to have artists participate in extended residencies at the various Pace Prints shops. In these residencies, artists create elaborate works on paper and small editions that are exhibited as solo shows at the Pace Prints Chelsea gallery. These works and exhibits have challenged the traditional idea of what a print is, and proven to the market that the printmaking medium can create works that demand the same attention as painting, sculpture, photography and film.
Lewis is responsible for bringing next-generation contemporary artist to the program, such as Ghada Amer and Reza Farkhondeh, Will Cotton, Leonardo Drew, Shepard Fairey, Inka Essenhigh, Arturo Herrera, Nicola Lopez, Ryan McGinness and Yoshimoto Naraand Do Ho Suh.
For more information, see http://paceprints.com/.
See the New York Times article about Jacob Lewis and Pace Prints: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/08/fashion/08lewis.html?exprod=permalink.
The Paul and Laura Mesaros Galleries serve to educate students, faculty and staff across the University, as well as the larger Morgantown community, with a special emphasis for art majors and students of art history.
Exhibitions focus on innovative, experimental art that advances scholarship and discourse in the field. Contemporary artists featured in the exhibits are invited to campus as part of the Visiting Artists program to speak to classes, present a public lecture, and serve as role models for art students.
Located in the Creative Arts Center, the Mesaros Galleries are named in honor of art patrons, Drs. Paul and Laura Mesaros. The Galleries are managed and programmed by the Art Museum of West Virginia University in conjunction with the School of Art and Design.
All Mesaros Galleries events, including art lectures, exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public.
Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, from noon to 9:30 p.m. The galleries are closed Sundays and University holidays. Special individual or group viewing times may be arranged upon request.
For more information, contact Bob Bridges, curator of the Art Museum of West Virginia University, at 304-293-2312.
CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
Phone: 304-293-4359, Email: Charlene.Lattea@mail.wvu.edu
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