The galleries of the Northwest Art Center at Minot State University open the new semester with contemporary works of art “on or of” paper.
“Americas 2016: Paperworks,” a national juried exhibition, is on display in the Hartnett Hall Gallery through February 19. In the Gordon B. Olson Library Gallery, a one-man show by Oklahoma printmaker Mark Sisson opens January 25, and will be on view through March 1.
The Paperworks show is an annual competition sponsored by the Northwest Art Center that draws entrants from across the United States, according to Northwest Art Center director Avis Veikley. Artists submit images for review by a juror who chooses the pieces for the exhibit. This year’s show is composed of 39 works selected by juror Karen Kunc, Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Printmaking, drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture are among the media displayed. The rules of the competition specify that paper must be an important element of the work, and that the work must have been created within the last two years.
“An interesting twist in this exhibit is the inclusion of five ‘artist books’,” said Veikley. “Artist books are a contemporary format that is part sculpture, part 2-D imagery, and part mechanical ingenuity. It may or may not include words or traditional book-binding methods. The only limit is the artist’s imagination.”
In the library gallery, works by Mark Sisson, Professor of Art at Oklahoma State University, are showcased in a solo exhibit in recognition of his Best of Show award in last year’s Paperworks competition.
Sisson describes his art as “hopelessly antiquated traditional portraiture.” Why, Sisson asks, would anyone in the digital age draw, paint, or otherwise laboriously create portraits “when portraits of every kind are ubiquitous, thoughtlessly derivative, disposable and made by any pea brain with a cellphone?”
Sisson’s answer is that he finds it “perversely satisfying” to work in the time-consuming and often unforgiving printmaking processes of relief, intaglio and lithography, which in their heyday were seen as “disruptive to the comfortable standard.”
Sisson’s prints and drawings have been in approximately 300 juried and invitational national and international exhibitions where they have received over 50 awards. His works are in more than 60 public and numerous private collections including the Bibliothéque Nationale in Paris, France, the Fogg Museum of Harvard University, the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City, MO and the Butler Museum of American Art in Youngstown, OH.
These Northwest Art Center exhibits are supported in part by a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Hartnett Hall Gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The library gallery is open during regular library hours.
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