West Virginia artist Grace Martin Taylor and her works will be the subject of the Art Museum of WVU’s next Art Up Close! event, to be held Oct. 11. The program will include a hands-on demonstration of the white-line color woodblock technique Taylor used to make her prints.
Art Museum Curator Robert Bridges and WVU Associate Professor of Art History Kristina Olson will present “Studio Window: A Look Inside the Art of Grace Martin Taylor,’” beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Museum Education Center Grand Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
Taylor’s complete print collection, including her important color woodblock prints, are currently on view in the Art Museum’s Deem Print Gallery. Those attending the presentation will have the opportunity to view the prints and some of the woodblocks up close.
Taylor (1903-1995) is considered one of America’s innovative printmakers of the 20th century. Born near Morgantown, she graduated from WVU before embarking on a career in art.
She studied with her cousin, internationally known American modernist Blanche Lazzell, an early proponent of the white-line color woodblock print developed in Provincetown, Massachusetts, around 1914.
The method for producing color prints using one wood block, rather than many, was adapted from Japanese color woodblock printing and produced luminous color prints.
Olson and Bridges will give a brief overview of Taylor’s career and her connection to important developments in modern art, followed by the printing demonstration.
Taylor created art and studied in Provincetown for 28 summers. She also studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts with Arthur Carles in the 1920s, and later earned an MFA at WVU and studied with other prestigious artists such as Hans Hofmann and Emil Bisttram.
She dedicated her life to teaching art in West Virginia for 40 years at what is now the University of Charleston.
Bridges and Olson are co-editors of the book “Blanche Lazzell, The Life and Work of an American Modernist” (2004), published by WVU Press.
Since coming to WVU in 2000, Bridges has curated many exhibits at WVU and in the region, as well as in Provincetown. He holds an MFA in printmaking from WVU and his artworks have been exhibited in numerous one-person and group shows and are featured in private and corporate collections.
Olson received her master’s degree in art criticism and art history from Stony Brook University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon. She teaches courses in modern and contemporary art, architecture, and theory and has written for such periodicals as ARTPULSE, Art in America, ArtPapers and Sculpture Magazine.
Art Up Close! events are held several times each year and present WVU faculty and guest artists from various disciplines discussing a single work of art from the perspectives of their disciplines. The events are co-sponsored by the Friends of the Museum, a membership group for people who enjoy the arts and social, educational and cultural activities revolving around art.
For more information about the program on Oct. 11, contact the Art Museum of WVU at 304.292.4359.
CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, Art Museum of WVU
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