David Curcio, Ann Forbush, Jan Cadman Powell
Opening Reception: Friday, October 9, 5:30 – 8 PM
This exhibition features three artists who allow process to influence the outcome of their work. Traditional printmaking often involves a great deal of planning and a step-by-step approach towards a final print. The artists here instead welcome the spontaneity inherent in the process, allowing surprises and accidents to inform and guide them towards the finished product–producing work that occupies a realm between abstract and figurative, presenting ambiguous shapes and misplaced objects open to infinite interpretations. The title Power of Suggestion emphasizes the role of the viewer in imbuing the work with meaning through his or her own outlooks, experiences, and “baggage”.
David Curcio’s recent work seeks to merge traditional printmaking with simpler, more direct methods of mark making to depict images that are at once decorative and deeply personal. He explains,
While I am a great admirer of quilts and other domestic items created by self-taught artists, my own training in printmaking is extremely formal–stitching and embroidering is a means by which I can strive for the purity and simplicity of the self taught art I admire without (I hope) being disingenuous. In creating the current body of work, I inevitably became more comfortable with the humble, direct techniques that were at first so alien to me. In response to this growing confidence, I forced myself further into deeply personal subject matter as a way of remaining just outside of my comfort zone, all the while keeping the general focus on the decorative aspects of each piece in an attempt to maintain a broad appeal. I hope for the viewer to whom the subject matter holds no weight or meaning, it is at least visually engaging.
Curcio is the proprietor of Ningyo Editions in Watertown, MA. He received his Masters of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York in 2001. Since then he has taught drawing and printmaking in Italy at Santa Reparata International School of Art and at Il Bisonte Scuola Internazionale d’Arte Grafica in Florence, and at The University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program in Cortona. From 2002 to 2004 he was the Director of Print Studio 250, a cooperative etching facility in Burlington, Vermont. He has since, studied traditional Japanese-style woodblock printing on Awajishima Island in Japan, and has served as artist-in-residence at The Holualoa Foundation for Art and Culture in Kona, Hawaii, where he taught printmaking.
I have always been fascinated by the “marks” that living things leave behind in the form of fossils, vessels, shadows and handwriting. These elements recur in my prints. Most recently, I’ve incorporated the idea of “marks” left by the spoken word: remembered conversations, quotes and personal admonitions. Often, my visual ideas spring from verbal sources that suggest a narrative without spelling out the whole story.
Through the use of delicate paper stencils and carved blocks, Forbush has developed a cache of personal icons that take on new meanings depending on their context. Some of the stencils she uses are recognizable objects, while others are more ambiguous or metaphorical. The stencils can be re-used, but, only for a short time and this transient quality gives them a “life span” all their own–a quality that appeals to the artist.
Forbush holds a B.F.A. from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA where she earned a double major in painting and photography. She has participated in over 60 exhibitions since 2001, including local and national juried shows and 5 Artist Book shows in Australia. In 2009, Ann received 2 commissions to create site specific work for Children’s Hospital in Boston and had an Artist’s Book accepted into the collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. Forbush is a member of the Cambridge Art Association, the Monotype Guild of New England, the Concord Art Association and the Watertown Children’s Theatre.
Jan Cadman Powell
A seminal moment in the evolution of my art practice was hearing the tale of the Aran fishermen who wore sweaters that had been knitted with specific arrangements of stitches which would identify them to a particular location. The idea of knitting as code is of immense interest to me. The yarn creates lines, textures, tones and shapes. I enjoy the organic quality of the pieces and how differing tensions can alter the outcome. There is control in the decisions of yarn, needle size and number of stitches but as the work progresses it takes on its own rhythm. For me this resonates with the art of calligraphy and intuitive, automatic mark-making. The construction of knitted artefacts relates strongly to the structure of written language. Both have linear qualities and structures that grow from a moving hand. Although these special characteristics have meaning when they stand alone, their meaning becomes greater and more intense when they are linked to a unified whole. The language of knitting instructions is a complicated one and, like any language, meaningless to the uninitiated. What fascinates me is the cryptic content of knitting terminology and it is the exploration of the familiar, the ambiguous and the complex, of a seemingly straightforward skill, that underpins my practice.
Jan Cadman Powell is a British born artist now living and working in Winchester, Massachusetts. In England, Jan’s career as a tutor of Art and Design has spanned 3 decades. Between August 2001 and June 2002 she participated in the Fulbright Teachers’ Exchange Programme, where she was ‘posted’ to a high school in Southern Vermont. It was during this time that she grew to know and love New England and she moved here permanently in October 2005. Ms. Powell holds a Master of Arts in Printmaking from the University of the Arts, Camberwell College, London. She is a member of the Cambridge Art Association and the Monotype Guild of New England.