By Rob Montana
ITHACA – For the second year, art students from Ithaca College and Cornell University are teaming up for a printmaking exhibition.
The I See You (IC/CU) show will open on First Friday Gallery Night, Friday, February 3, with a reception from 5-8 p.m. It will remain on display through March 23. The Ink Shop is open from 1-6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Greg Page, an associate professor of print media and drawing at Cornell, said 19 students from the university’s introductory to advanced level classes will be taking part in the exhibition.
“Professor Elisabeth Meyer and I asked the students to select work for the exhibition,” he said. “We also assisted them in refining some of the final selections. In the classes the students produce many works depending on the requirements of the class.”
Pamela Drix is a lecturer in Ithaca College’s department of art, printmaking and drawing. She said about 15 IC students would be presenting their work in the show, also ranging from those in introductory to intermediate/advanced printmaking courses.
“As the instructors, Patricia Hunsinger and I asked our students to initially preselect their best work from the semester, then we chose the best representative pieces from there,” Drix said. “Each of the students created a number of different editions, so we had a good choice of prints.”
Drix and Page both noted the idea to feature the higher ed students’ work came from Craig Mains, director of the Ink Shop.
“Both Cornell and IC have rigorous printmaking programs. We were excited to bring our efforts together in one show, to not only reflect the depth and breath of these programs, but to also promote the ongoing culture of the print within our community and beyond,” said Drix. “This show is also an opportunity for our students to display their work outside an academic environment. The Ink Shop provides us a perfect space in which to showcase and support our students’ hard work and enthusiasm.”
“This exhibition brings together student works from Ithaca College and Cornell showcasing the depth and diversity of Printmaking that exist here in Ithaca,” added Page. “The exhibition also gives the students an opportunity to experience one another’s works at both an inter-institutional and community level for dialog and continued investigation of printmaking as an ever expanding medium in the arts.”
Hopefully, he said, people who take in the exhibition will learn more about what it means to study printmaking in post-secondary school.
“My hope is that viewers will gain an understanding of printmaking education in colleges and universities,” Page said, “and reflect upon its broad history as one of continued dissemination of information about the various subjects, issues and processes and about how thoughts and ideas are framed within the context of these approaches.”
The show will allow people to see a variety of techniques and styles, Drix said, noting that “artists work within the context of a wider cultural milieu.”
“Beyond this, though, the role of the print in a wider cultural context is changing. Whether there are images about identity, politics, environmental justice, immigration, among others, students give form to their concerns,” she said. “I think students are bringing more critical thinking to their work, addressing issues that matter deeply to them. That is exciting to see.”
And as for what the students can take away from the experience?
“My hope is the students begin to understand and appreciate the opportunity to expose their work and dialog about it to a broader community,” Page said. “I also hope they begin to take ownership in the production and content of their work and the discipline it takes to expose their work to communities whether on a local, national or international level.”
As the exhibition – which is becoming an annual tradition – continues, Page expects it to evolve, both in approach and content.
“The exhibition participants are a reflection of diversity on a global scale due to the background of the students enrolled in our classes,” he said. “The Ink Shop Printmaking Center is an incredible resource in our community which offers exhibitions, workshops, and much more.”
“Public support for this is always appreciated. The Ink Shop provides the space, expertise, time, and support for this shared endeavor, for which we are very grateful,” Drix added. “Please support the Ink Shop for the public service they continue providing our community.”
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For more information about the exhibition or the Ink Shop, visit www.ink-shop.org.