Ladysmith printmakers are holding their inaugural show at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery from April 21-29. A gala event is schedule for Sunday from 2-4 p.m. as part of this weekend’s Spring Art Tour. (Mike Gregory Photo)

Ladysmith printmakers hold inaugural show at gallery

Momentum Press to feature over 100 traditional and contemporary prints

Ladysmith printmakers are holding their inaugural show featuring both traditional and contemporary pieces at the Ladysmith Waterfront Art Gallery beginning this weekend.

Josslyn Meyers is one of the nine members of the gallery’s print studio who will be exhibiting work in the show that will have an exciting variety of techniques, including: monotype, collagraph, intaglio, etching and relief printing including woodblock and linocuts.

“It’s a difficult medium that requires patience because there are often times when you are trying for a specific effect or feeling, or you’re hoping these two colours will work together, and it just doesn’t work,” said Meyers, who has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a major in printmaking.

“On the other hand you always learn from trying different things and I think what printmaking does is it really encourages you to keep a really open mind and a really flexible mind. That if something didn’t turn out the way you want it to, then what can you do to make it successful in another way. How can you work with it instead of insisting that it be a specific thing. You have to have a conversation with the medium.”

Meyers has selected several landscape pieces to be included in the show entitled Momentum Press, with this weekend’s gala event on Sunday held in conjunction with the Spring Art Tour running April 20-22.

She describes her work as being slightly more “literal” than some other prints as she strives to achieve a feeling from her pieces.

“I really am trying for a specific feeling from the piece and that’s how I judge myself to be successful, or not – does the piece have this feeling that I intended it to have,” she said.

Her prints are created through carvings on lynolium blocks, reverse direct drawing, and other methods to build up a surface to achieve a desired texture and depth.

“At the end of all of it you come out with these surprises that you would never have expected and it almost looks different from what your original intention was,” she said.

Momentum Press is expected to feature over 100 prints hanging throughout the gallery with other pieces also available for people to browse.

Barry Strasbourg-Thompson is another member of the printmakers group who will be exhibiting work.

Also holding a BFA and coming from a background in the graphic arts, he describes that there’s pre-planning and precision involved as he uses an overlay process to ink a block a number of times to produce different effects on an image.

“Because of the nature of it, there are things that a print can do that you cannot do with a painting or a sculpture,” said Strasbourg-Thompson, who’s abstract work is about chasing the spirituality within and making “what’s invisible, visible.”

“Paint is more of an translucent, transparent medium whereas with printmaking, once it’s on it’s on.”

Similar to Meyers, the path each piece leads him on is part of the patience that makes the printmaking process unique.

“I get more creative accidents happening that drive the process towards something new,” he adds.

“When you peel the print off the press you’re not absolutely sure what you’re going to get. That’s the big excitement of printmaking, because as it comes off the plate you’re really seeing something for the first time that you can’t really pre-vision what it’s going to look like, you can kind of guess, but what it’s really going to look like is usually quite different than what you originally designed.”

Dorothy Friesen and Lottie Anderson are credited for helping to organize this inaugural show.

“They’re there every week making sure the studio is open and making sure all the supplies are there,” Meyers said. “Without them, this would not be possible.”

The gala opening for Momentum Press is this Sunday from 2-4 p.m. at the gallery and the show, sponsored by 460 Realty, runs until the 29th.

For more on the Spring Art Tour visit http://www.ladysmithwaterfrontgallery.com/springartour-1/.

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