Crow’s Shadow was privileged last week to welcome an artist from the other side of the globe.
Gabrielle Belz, a New Zealand native of Māori heritage, visited the Crow’s Shadow Press studio for five days to work with Master Printer Frank Janzen on two series of monotype prints prior to leaving for an invitational residency at Pilchuck Glass School in Washington.
A practiced printmaker for more than 30 years, Belz fell right into work and spent the first three days at Crow’s Shadow alongside longtime friend and native Oregon artist Lillian Pitt, who also worked on some new prints.
“I wanted to see what was happening, because I’d heard about Crow’s Shadow from Lillian a few years ago,” Belz said. “I received a grant from Creative New Zealand … and that sort of helped with some of these side trips.”
Belz donated one print series, titled “Pou Series” to Crow’s Shadow. The vertical prints all incorporate the imagery of palisade posts, used to mark and defend traditional Māori villages or fort settlements (called “pā”).
Having grown up in Manurewa, once a country town now part of the greater Auckland metropolitan area on the North Island of New Zealand, Belz later moved to the Taranaki region, where she joined a collective of artists and first was introduced to working in prints.
Today, Belz works with and has helped found several artist groups and collectives, including Kauwae, a Māori women’s art collective, as well as Toi Whakataa Press (Toi = Art; Whakataa = to make impression), a collective of Māori printmakers. She also is a committee member for Te Atinga, which develops and promotes Māori art through exhibitions, wananga (symposia), publications and artist networks, among other things.
Regarding her personal artwork, Belz said she swings her creative focus between painting and printmaking.
“There are marks with printmaking you can’t make any other way,” Belz said. “It’s a good visual communications device.”
From an indigenous perspective, Belz pointed to the traumatic history of when Captain James Cook and other whites “discovered” the Pacific island and took away many sacred Māori artifacts and treasures, some of which have slowly been returning to New Zealand. In contrast, Belz said, printmaking provides a means for creating and disseminating common or duplicate images and themes.
“With a print you can have one at home and you can also send it away,” Belz said.
Belz said she hopes to establish a print workshop back in New Zealand.
“I just really appreciate having the opportunity to visit and work here and see how things operate,” she said of her collaboration with Janzen. “(I’m) overwhelmed with the patience, the dedication, the willingness to help achieve whatever ideas I want to create in the visual form.”
We will be adding images of the new artwork to the prints for sale section of our website as soon as possible, so be sure to check back.
Crow’s Shadow was privileged to host Minnesota-based artist Jim Denomie for a two-week printmaking residency this month.
Working at a productive, 8-a.m.-to-5-p.m. pace for most of the ten working days, Denomie wrapped up his time in the studio with an amazing body of 72 signed prints, spanning five monotype and monoprint series.
“It’s a variety of imagery, but mostly they’re all some sort of portraiture,” Denomie said.
In addition to a colorful monotype series titled “Blue Mountain Portraits,” Denomie worked extensively on a series of monochromatic monotypes using dark brown burnt umber ink.
“I sketch a lot in just black ballpoint pen with a permanent ink, and my sketches are usually just frenetic gestural line drawings, done very loosely and fast,” Denomie said. “And so I wanted to incorporate that into these ‘Burnt Umber Sketches,’ where you just ink up the whole entire plate, one solid layer of dark burnt umber and draw into it. And it’s kind of a reverse of my sketches.”
On another monotype series Denomie employed a three-color monotype background with oil pastel sketches drawn directly onto the paper.
“Originally I thought maybe I would do a solid color background, but as I was inking up these plates I decided to go with three colors and just randomly develop a pattern,” Denomie said. “And so laying portraits over the tops of these random patterns would feed into the final project, where you’d get this unexpected juxtaposition of colors that wouldn’t have come if I’d have started with a blank palette.”
In addition to his time making art, Denomie explored some of the surrounding area and also presented a slide presentation at Tamastslikt Cultural Institute on the course of his work and career as a painter.
“My experience at Crow’s Shadow and my visit to Pendleton has been phenomenal. … I’ve met a lot of great people, very nice people,” Denomie said. “The art has been phenomenal too. I don’t believe I’ve ever created so much art in a two-week period as I have here.”
Prints from each of the five series are available for sale. Images of the work will be added to the “prints” section of the Crow’s Shadow website as soon as possible, and all questions regarding art purchases can be directed to Master Printer Frank Janzen at (541) 276-3954 or by e-mail to email@example.com.
In the mean time you can check out some photos from Denomie’s residency on our facebook page.
Crow’s Shadow would like to thank Denomie for his visit and for lending his incredible talents to the organization. Thanks also to Laurie Fairbanks for her volunteer work as press assistant.
Gabrielle Belz, a Maori painter and printmaker from Auckland, New Zealand, will be visiting the Crow’s Shadow Press studio for the week of June 6-10. The artist will be traveling through the region prior to a two-week residency at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington.
At Crow’s Shadow, Belz will work in collaboration with Oregon artist Lillian Pitt for three days of the five days on a project yet to be determined.
In addition to her service and membership with several other artist groups and councils, Belz is a founding member of Toi Whakataa Press, a collective of Maori printmakers (whose membership also includes Marty Vreede, who visited Crow’s Shadow in 2009 on a Fulbright grant).
You can read a full artist profile with links to artwork images at maoriart.org.nz.
The above photo appears on the Spirit Wrestler Gallery website.
This week Crow’s Shadow hosted visiting artist Jim Denomie for the first half of a two-week printmaking residency with Master Printer Frank Janzen.
After spending two days on portrait monotype prints and getting “acclimated to playing with inks,” Denomie spent the rest of the week working on the first of possibly multiple monoprint series.
“Working on the monoprints has been more meticulous, more curves to slow down for,” Denomie said. “And they’ve been a little more challenging … but I’m pleased with the direction we’re heading.”
Denomie will be giving a free slide and lecture presentation tomorrow, 1-2:30 p.m. at Tamastslikt Cultural Institute. There also will be a public reception 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday at Crow’s Shadow.
Be sure to check out more pictures from the residency on our facebook page.
Thanks also to Laurie Fairbanks for volunteering as press assistant.
For a limited time … there will be a lot of very cool art on display in the Crow’s Shadow gallery, courtesy students from Nixyaawii Community School.
The exhibition on display shows a broad range of work—including self-portraits, masks and sculptures—from the 2010-11 school year.
Thanks to the students, art instructor Brian Purnell and everyone who showed up last night for the opening reception.
In case you missed it, you can still check out the artwork through May 20. Check out many more pictures of the show on our facebook page. For questions, please call us at (541) 276-3954.
Minnesota-based artist Jim Denomie (Ojibwe) will be bringing his talents, and possibly his particular brand of Indian humor, to the Crow’s Shadow Press studio this spring.
Denomie will collaborate with Master Printer Frank Janzen for a two-week printmaking residency, May 16-27.
Perhaps best known for his surrealistic painting style and cartoonish, “revisionist” depictions of Native American history and themes, Denomie has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including a 2009 Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art and a 2008 Bush Artist Fellowship. Denomie received a BFA degree from the University of Minnesota in 1995 and has since shown extensively in both Europe and the United States.
Gail Tremblay, artist and instructor at Evergreen State University, described Denomie’s work as that which both “sings and stings.”
“To penetrate Jim Denomie’s work and to engage with its imagery, one has to let go of all stereotypes one has about American Indians and their art,” Tremblay writes in the Eiteljorg-published book “Art Quantum.” “Indeed, few artists poke fun at stereotypes or at the romanticized images of ‘Noble Savages’ or primitive Indians with Denomie’s vigor.”
Along with the sometimes irreverent imagery—the United States cavalry depicted as fez-wearing go-cart drivers in the painting “Custer’s Retreat,” for example, or historic portrait photographer Edward Curtis as a peeping voyeur in “Edward Curtis, Paparazzi: Skinny Dip”—Denomie’s paintings also employ more subtle references to ongoing cultural and political issues.
In 2005 Denomie successfully completed a self-prescribed challenge of creating at least one new painting each day, resulting in hundreds of small-scale colorful portraits, many of which were later exhibited in 2007 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Denomie also works in photography, found-object sculpture, ink, oil pastel drawing and printmaking.
“Regarding my residency at Crow Shadow, I am really looking forward to visiting the Northwest area again, seeing some old friends and meeting new ones, working with a master printer and making art,” Denomie said via e-mail. “Although I have experience in monoprints and linoleum cuts, and recently took a print class at the [University of Minnesota] in lithography and etching, I would not call myself an experienced printer.
“I have some sketches and an idea or two to explore while working at Crow Shadow, but I am also available to the idea of spontaneous imagery. I hope to make a number of monoprints as well as lithographs.”
During his stay, Denomie also will present a slide-presentation on his work titled “Humor and Politics, the Art of Jim Denomie.” That free lecture event will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, at Tamastslikt Cultural Institute.
Crow’s Shadow also will host an artist reception, 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, at the Crow’s Shadow gallery. Visitors will be welcome to come meet the artist and check out some of the newly created prints.
For more information about Denomie, you can view his website at www.waboozstudio.com. For other questions, please call us at (541) 276-3954.
This past weekend Crow’s Shadow hosted the fifth annual four-day monotype printmaking workshop retreat, part of the Pacific Northwest College of Art’s continuing education courses. Artists from around the region spent the better part of the weekend taking in the Eastern Oregon landscape and putting ink to paper through the etching presses. Master Printer Frank Janzen taught several helpful techniques and helped guide both novice and experienced printmakers through the various processes.
First-time participant Joanne Oleksiak, utilizing a drawing sketchbook, said she derived inspiration both from the vast scenery and historic St. Andrews mission building. She said she looked forward to leaving with “hopefully, a few prints that aren’t too horrible,” emphasizing, however, that wasn’t her prime goal.
“My goal has been to relax and renew and find some new skills, which I’ve done. Frank (Janzen) is great,” Oleksiak said. “I appreciated the opportunity to be away from my routine for this many days, and I’m deliberately not checking my e-mail.”
Kris Andrews, printmaking hobbyist and another first-time participant, traveled all the way from British Columbia, having discovered Crow’s Shadow during a trip to the Umatilla Indian Reservation in 2010.
“I just discovered it by accident and I was thrilled,” Andrews said. “I’ve learned so much and I’d like to come back.”
We’d like to thank everyone who participated, including Debby Sundbaum-Sommers, who returned to volunteer as studio and press assistant.
Master Printer Frank Janzen traveled to sunny Davis, Calif., earlier this month along with 30 framed prints, which currently are on display at the University of California’s C.N. Gorman Museum in an exhibition titled “Extended Voices: Prints from Crow’s Shadow Press.”
The exhibition, which is showing through June 12, spans close to 10 years worth of Crow’s Shadow collaborations, including a 2001 18-color lithograph from Edgar Heap of Birds to a monotype from the 2011 “Sumojazz” series by James Luna.
Janzen, who printed each of works on display, gave a lecture presentation for the April 5 opening reception.
“I think the thing that impressed me was when students came to look at the exhibition … they studied the prints carefully and read all the notes,” Janzen said.
The C.N. Gorman Museum was founded in 1973 through the university’s Department of Native American Studies and named after retired faculty member Carl Nelson Gorman. Veronica Passalacqua, the museum’s curator, said the department recently offered an introductory course on contemporary native art, with course material covering the artwork of multiple artists represented in the Crow’s Shadow exhibit.
“The names they saw on the walls. They were all in the first-year books they were reading,” Janzen said.
Passalacqua said she and the museum director tried to select a variety of artists and styles for the exhibition, which also represents emerging artists.
“It’s going over very well. We’ve had good response from our visitors,” Passalacqua said. “People have always spoken very highly of the [Crow’s Shadow] residency program.”
For more information about the C.N. Gorman Museum you can visit their website here.
Crow’s Shadow would like to thank two Oregon-based foundations—The Ford Family Foundation and Wildhorse Foundation—for their recent generous contributions toward our “Studio and Gallery Enhancements Project.” The capital improvements project includes the purchase of new studio equipment and the completion of a minor facilities renovation.
In March, with funding from the Wildhorse Foundation, Crow’s Shadow completed the first phase of the project with the purchase of a multi-spectrum exposure unit, ideal for the production of large-size lithographic plates.
“The exposure unit is a tremendously valuable asset as I now have more control on exposure time and I don’t have to rely on the sun,” Master Printer Frank Janzen said. “It cuts down on processing time as well as making everything more efficient.”
A grant from The Ford Family Foundation will fund the purchase of a photo scanner, as well as industrial storage racks for the improvement of studio storage space for prints in our permanent art collection.
That space renovation will be ideal for creating a better managed system of safely storing and tracking the movement of fine-art prints in our permanent collection, which regularly travel to various exhibitions both for educational and promotional purposes.
The Ford Family Foundation was established in 1957 by Kenneth W. and Hallie E. Ford. Its Mission is “successful citizens and vital rural communities” in Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. The Foundation is located in Roseburg, Oregon, with a Scholarship office in Eugene. For more information about the Foundation, please visit the website at www.tfff.org.
The Wildhorse Foundation was established January 1, 2001, for the purpose of formalizing charitable giving on behalf of the Wildhorse Resort & Casino and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. For more information about the foundation, please visit http://www.wildhorseresort.com/footer/foundation.html
Thanks to both foundations for their financial support.
Those who missed out on last weekend’s photo-lithography workshop with Master Printer Frank Janzen, March 26 & 27, will have another opportunity. Due to popular demand Janzen is offering a second session scheduled for May 7 & 8 at Crow’s Shadow.
The workshop is a two-day introduction to photo-lithography that will guide participants through a simple step-by-step process for creating a print and small-size edition.
“I thought watching the other participants print was super useful for building problem solving skills. I really enjoyed seeing the range of styles and interpretations of materials,” participant Mare Blocker said. “I’ve been a relief printer for the last 32 years and it’s really great to shake up your routine and try something new. I came home and ordered some plate materials and developer to try it in my own studio, so that sums up the enthusiasm level.”
For a full description of the workshop, read more here. There also are spots remaining for Janzen’s four-day monotype workshop, April 21-24, offered through the Pacific Northwest College of Art, more info here.
For questions regarding either workshop, please call (541) 276-3954 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.