Friday, November 18, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Printmaking Exhibit at the Mill Gallery in Bennington

The Vermont Arts Exchange (VAE) presents I Will Try to Put Down on Paper, an exhibition by seven advanced printmaking students from Bennington College, in the Mill Gallery, located in VAE’s Sage Street Mill. The show opens with a reception on Wednesday, November 30, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The exhibition is on view through February 25, 2012.

In Bennington College’s Advanced Printmaking course, taught by faculty member Thorsten Dennerline, students Rebeca Baudille ’12 Hannah Callahan ’12, Elliot Cash ’13, Farhad Mirza ’12, Ellen Bogen ’12, Amelia Vottero ’12 and Lauren Hamilton ’12 proposed and executed projects of their own design.

Working in a basic structure of critiques and discussions, the students focused in on a variety of printing techniques and ways of handling materials to execute their ideas. The work featured includes photopolymer intaglio, wood cuts, screenprints, artist books, handmade paper and copper plate etchings.

Mounting the final prints as a group show in a community venue both reinforces the community spirit and collaboration of printmaking, in which artists share a printshop and equipment, and often ideas and techniques. It also offers an important challenge to the student artists.

“It’s part of my teaching philosophy,” Dennerline says. “The students benefit a great deal from interacting with the world outside the campus. You give them this real-world, hands-on opportunity that helps build up their confidence as artists, and it gives them the chance to engage with the outside community. It’s a nice way to start a conversation between the academic community and the real world.”

He adds, “From a teaching standpoint, it broadens their audience and makes them work harder — there’s more pressure, more people seeing it.”

It’s also a lesson in organizing a group show in a not-for-profit space, an invaluable experience as the students continue their career as artists. In addition to creating the work and curating the show, they have created artist statements, determined price lists for the work available for sale and helped publicize the exhibit.

Image: Top: Elliot Cash, Bennington College junior, Advanced Printmaking student
Bottom: Lauren Hamilton, Bennington College senior, Advanced Printmaking student