Boston Public Library
Exhibitions

Juror’s Statement

MARY SPENCER, Two Queens (1994) From the moment Catherine Kernan, Jane Goldman, and Randy Garber approached me about collaborating on an exhibition in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Mixit Print Studio, I thought it was important that the Boston Public Library be a partner in this project. The Library has had a connection to the Boston printmaking community since the 1940s when Arthur Heintzelman, a renowned American etcher, was appointed the first Keeper of Prints. That connection continued through the tenure of Sinclair Hitchings, who built the library’s collection of works of art on paper by Boston artists and who, in collaboration with Mixit, produced the exhibition and catalogue Proof in Print: A Community of Printmaking Studios (2001), which celebrated Artist’s Proof and its successor studios. Since the founding of Mixit in 1987, it has played a central role in the development and promotion of printmaking in Boston.

THADDEUS BEAL, Open Up (2012) As can be seen in the current exhibition, the partners and members of Mixit have responded with creativity and boundless energy to the challenge of celebrating such an auspicious anniversary. Thirteen artists have submitted installations that demonstrate the current desire of artists to move printmaking off the wall and into three dimensions. Heddi Siebel and Debra Olin have used the columns of the library’s Changing Exhibits Gallery to further develop themes that currently are central to their work, while Thad Beal and Ted Ollier have created installations that celebrate the architecture itself. Ilana Manolson’s interest in the connection between “roots” and “routes” led her to combine roots acquired from the Arnold Arboretum and images from maps in the collection of the library’s Norman B. Leventhal Map Center.

 

Sixty-six artists contributed prints to the 25th anniversary portfolio. Some of the artists, including Heddi Siebel, Nona Hershey, and Joel Janowitz, have been members of Mixit for many years. Others, including Robin Boger, Karen Falkoff, and Valda Zalkalns, have recently begun their associations with Mixit. The prints show the diversity of artistic vision and approach to media characteristic of the Mixit community. At the same time, they maintain the high level of technical quality that is also a Mixit characteristic. The portfolio will be an important addition to the library’s collection and a worthy companion to the Mixit Print Studio Portfolio that was part of Proof in Print.

WENDY PRELLWITZ, Drift #1 (2009) Selecting work for the juried section of the exhibition was exciting, but challenging as well. Although, because of space constraints, it was possible to select only 44 works from the approximately 200 prints submitted, I felt privileged to have the opportunity to review all the submissions. Fen by Karen Falkoff, Magical Visions: Li River #6 by Prilla Brackett, and Drift #1 by Wendy Prellwitz explore landscape on a monumental scale. Sarah Shallbetter’s print Untitled (Figure) explores the human figure by reducing it to its essential elements, while Jackie Miller’s The Anxious Ones 4 explores our emotions. Beth Galston’s print Drilled explores materials, process, and mark making— elements that have formed the core concerns of printmakers for the last 600 years.

Installed with the juried works are prints from the library’s collection by 18 artists who have been associated with Mixit. Produced between 1981 and 2001, the prints attest to the history of diversity, creativity, and technical expertise that have been the hallmark of Mixit for the last 25 years. The studio continues to welcome new members attracted by its atmosphere of exploration and collaboration.

Karen Shafts

Assistant Keeper of Prints, Boston Public Library