The Indianapolis Art Center consistently presents regional and national quality exhibitions alongside the presentation of works produced by its own participants. The building’s galleries and corridors provide ample opportunity to showcase concurrent exhibitions along the lines of a single theme, which allows for more substantive opportunities to educate the public about art. Work by John Noble is part of the IAC’s current exhibit on printmaking. One such effort is the current Focus on Printmaking, a series of exhibitions ranging from local to regional to national in scope. Fine art printmaking offers artists an opportunity to give value to images that are not one-of-a-kind; the effort itself is part of the art’s value. With fine art prints, the intent is to produce something beautiful on a two-dimensional plane. It’s not about texture, except the kind conjured up with the illusion of lines and color, light and shadow. Fine prints are often meticulously detailed and achieve something a painting often cannot in terms of fine point illustration. Prints from the Clark Family Collection and Mark Hall: New Prints are exhibited in the Churchman Fehsenfeld Gallery. Both exhibitions are curated by Hall, who selected works from the Clark collection to form a survey of printmaking techniques and media. Dean and Susan Clark, who sell printmaking supplies to universities and individuals through their company Graphic Chemical and Ink, Co., in Villa Park, Ill., have amassed there a collection of approximately 1,500 19th and 20th century prints. Hall curated the Clark Family exhibition from this formidable collection and one has to assume that the decisions were difficult, as the selections fill only half the gallery. But Hall manages, and the results give the novice a place to start and the printmaker a place to reflect. Hall’s own images, forming the second half of the exhibition, are perhaps easier to digest: Less territory is covered, and the pressure to understand the difference between etching and aquatint, say, is less pronounced. Hall has a cohesive voice that explores certain questions within his own rubric. Hall says he chooses to express himself through the print media “because of the rich and seductive look of ink upon paper and because, once created, I can both part with and yet keep my work,” summing up nicely the difference between creating with print media — and maximizing the techniques — versus reproducing an image that is best enjoyed in its singular, original form. Hall, who has degrees in theology and visual art, ties his interests together in his artmaking, providing provocative, alternative perspectives with cartoon-like playfulness and mythic detail. Together, the two exhibitions are appropriate entry into the world of prints, and for those already in the know, Hall, in particular, may offer a few inspirational surprises. A walk down the hall and into the other exhibitions will expand the experience much further. Prints From The Clark Family Collection and Mark Hall: New Prints are on view at the Indianapolis Art Center through July 4, alongside INprint’s INtouch and INdigenous, two suites of 18 hand-pulled prints created by the artist members of INprint, a group of fine art printmakers based in Central Indiana. On view in the library, the two INprint exhibitions manifest the themes of and benefit the non-profit Gennesaret Free Clinic in downtown Indianapolis and the Indiana Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. Finally, lining the west corridor exhibition space, is the National Non-toxic Printmaking Invitational, curated by INprint chairperson and printmaker Cynthia Blasingham, also through July 4.

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