Printmaking project pairs Native artists, ASU graduate students
Five Native American artists from across the country have spent the past week at ASU School of Art in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts on a printmaking project with graduate students. Thursday night they debut the results of their work.
A proof of a print by artist Tom Greyeyes. (Photo by Jude Joffe-Block - KJZZ)
The project is known as Map(ing), which stands for Multiple Artists Printmaking. Professor Mary Hood said this is the third year of the project, which explores cultural identity and a sense of place through prints.
This year's invited artists are C. Maxx Stevens, Nicholas Galanin, Rowan Harrison, Sonya Kelliher-Combs and Thomas Greyeyes.
"My purpose for the project is using printmaking as a vehicle for understanding around different cultural contexts," Hood said.
She said the point is as much about the process of making prints together, as it is about the finished product. Graduate students were paired with artists, who they assist in developing a set of limited edition prints over the course of a week.
Invited mixed media artist Sonya Kelliher-Combs came from Alaska to participate.
"I think the fact that this program is embracing the indigenous people of this area and of the nation is really important," said Kelliher-Combs, who is also an alumnus of Arizona State University's graduate art program. "I think Native Americans have been marginalized in the art world."
Her art in Alaska draws from indigenous materials, including walrus intestines. She said her aim over the past week was to make a print that captured the same themes of the natural world and translucence that is a trademark of her other work.
She created an abstract print that is reminiscent of an animal hide that she says speaks to her Alaska home. It features stitched-in human hair, and it was dipped in beeswax to achieve its texture.
An exhibition of the artists' and student work will be held at the Night Gallery in Tempe Marketplace from 7-10 p.m. on Thursday. There will be a silent auction of two prints from each artist involved in the project.
Updated 1/10/2013 at 11:03 a.m.