Explore the thriving and diverse world of print arts in the Northwest: Ink This! at Tacoma Art Museum

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Explore the thriving and diverse world of print arts in the Northwest: Ink This! at Tacoma Art Museum
Joe Feddersen, Roll Call II, 2012. Relief print, 19 1/2 x 26 in. Courtesy of Froelick Gallery, Portland, Oregon.

TACOMA, WA.- Block, stone, monotype, chine collé: learn the meaning of these printmaking terms and more at Tacoma Art Museum’s exhibition Ink This! Featuring approximately 85 works of art, this show is on view June 7 through November 9, 2014. More than 70 talented Northwest print artists are represented, including Rick Bartow, Ben Beres, Dionne Haroutounian, Frank Janzen, Amanda Knowles, Susan Lowdermilk, Rae Mahaffey, Hibiki Miyazaki, Tyna Ontko, Barbara Robertson, Charles Spitzack, Jessica Spring, and Christy Wyckoff, and many others.

Works in the exhibition showcase a wide variety of printmaking techniques, from time-honored processes such as etching and lithography through installation and digital media. It includes letterpress artists (those that use hand-set type and block-cut imagery to create a variety of works) and artists who hand make books that are in essence small sculptures built to showcase images and artistic techniques. Artists in the exhibition are at all stages in their careers and work in varied environments from fine art presses to collaborative print shops and individual studios. Reflecting this surprising variation of creative technique and tools, the exhibition seeks to question the definition of “print” in contemporary art practice, and how that definition is challenged as artists push the boundaries of the medium.

Since the 1900s, print arts have enjoyed a strong tradition in the Northwest art scene. Print arts are as indicative of the Pacific Northwest’s artistic identity as salmon and microbrew are identified with regional food culture. Tacoma Art Museum’s collection includes more than 1,000 prints by Northwest artists and is the home of the Beta Press archive, a longtime Seattle art press. This focus in the museum’s collection was one of the motivating factors for producing the Ink This! exhibition.

"The contemporary print arts community in the Northwest is both lively and varied, and incredibly supportive of individual expression,” says curator Margaret Bullock, sharing her enthusiasm about the show. “While working on this exhibition I got to see etchings that could have been made centuries ago alongside works that combine printmaking with new technology and everything in between. I also got to meet a group of artists who were as excited about the work of other printmakers as they were their own, even if they were worlds apart in their interests and aesthetics. I hope that Ink This! will surprise, excite, and inspire while honoring the creativity and enthusiasm that make the print arts a rich and vital part of the Northwest art community."

Honoring another longstanding Northwest tradition, Tacoma Art Museum collaborated with Harmon Brewing Company in Tacoma to craft a signature ale, amusingly named drINK THIS. Harmon Brewing Co.’s co-owner Pat Nagel describes the IPA: "Bold flavors of orange, lemon and melon give way to a crisp, clean and smooth finish.” The ale will be available at special museum events, on tap at the Harmon’s four restaurants, and sold in 20 ounce bottles at Relish (the museum’s cafe).

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Explore the thriving and diverse world of print arts in the Northwest: Ink This! at Tacoma Art Museum

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