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Printmakers gather for Rockaway exhibit

The exhibit will run Feb. 7 through March 7 at sTudio 6 Gallery located in the Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA) in Fort Tilden/Gateway National Recreation Area in Rockaway.

Printmaking has evolved from the woodcuts of ninth century China, through 16th century European artists like Albrecht Dürer, the 19th and 20th century’s Mary Cassatt and contemporary practitioners that include Chuck Close and Kiki Smith, whose work is now on view at MoMA QNS.

Woodcuts, lithography, etching, screenprinting and monotypes are some of the techniques in the arsenal of printmakers. The 18 artists participating in “Pressed and Pulled” draw on this rich tradition. Yet they make these techniques truly their own, truly individual.

Christian LeGars, whose work appears in the Library of Congress, creates solar plate intaglio prints and adds gold watercolor for dazzling effect. Willa Mae Gilbert, the 76-year-old self-professed “Grandma Moses of Printmaking” uses layered paper for her linocut prints. Jami Tayback adds collage to her brightly colored abstract monoprints.

Printmaking creates art on paper or some other material through an indirect transfer process. The medium allows the artist to reproduce an image many times and to “play” with that image by adding on a variety of techniques. In monotypes, one unique image is pulled. Some techniques allow for more spontaneity, immediacy and “painterliness” than others. Each method has its own particular expressive and visual distinctions. “Pressed and Pulled” explores many of these distinctions and provides the public with insight into this multifaceted art form.

Ellen Coleman, a New York City printmaker and active member of the Lower East Side Print Shop, is the juror for “Pressed and Pulled.” She has had several one-person shows in New York City and the metropolitan area and has participated in a number of group exhibitions whose venues include the NY Society of Etchers, the Rotunda Gallery and the Goethe Institute. Coleman also teaches printmaking.

Juried artists include: Audrey Frank Anastasi, Bonnie Blitstein, Ross Chambers, Steve Gibson, Willa Mae Gilbert, Caryl C. Gordon, Roni Henning, Amy Kargman, Christian LeGars, Marc Lepson, Rich Lilley, Gwendolyn Marcinek, Mary Killian Noone, Kate Judge Patton, Cindy Rosin, Jami Taback, Nina Talbot and Chris Warot.

A wine and cheese reception will be held Sunday, Feb. 8 from 1-3 p.m. Gallery hours are Saturdays noon-5 p.m. and Sundays 1-4 p.m. “Pressed and Pulled” is presented in partnership with the National Park Service/ Gateway National Recreation Area. For information and directions call 718-474-0861, e-mail rockart116@aol.com or log onto www.rockawayartistsalliance.org. Admission is free.

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