CONWAY — Baum Gallery at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway opened its first exhibition of the spring semester in a big way at an opening reception Jan. 25. The walls of the entire gallery are covered with large pieces of art created by 29 printmakers from Arkansas and several other states.
Pathways: An Exhibition of Large Format and Experimental Printmaking will remain on display through Feb. 16. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with extended hours to 7 p.m. on Thursdays.
Jessie Hornbrook of Little Rock, UCA assistant professor of art, curated the show, along with Brian Young, Baum Gallery director.
“Jessie was the initial curator,” Young said. “She selected the artists. Then largely, I made the individual selections of the art. But overall, Jessie shaped the vision.
“Jessie wanted full-time printers and print instructors,” he said. “She wanted this show to inspire UCA students and our overall community.”
Hornbrook has been at UCA for almost three years. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Central Michigan University. Her specialty is printmaking.
“I was very pleased with the turnout of the reception,” Hornbrook said.
“I think it was of great value to my print students and, hopefully, to other art students in the department,” she said. “My goal of the show was to curate a collection of prints that spans from experimental to traditional print media, from large-scale to delicate and intimate, that showed technical excellence and risk-taking in the field of printmaking. All the artists included are respected colleagues that are currently making work — no dead artists. Hopefully, the contemporary angle gave students more to chew on, so to speak, to connect with aesthetically and conceptually.”
Hornbrook has one large piece (38 by 96 inches) of her own work in the show, one she created using lithography and silkscreen with charcoal powder. She titled the piece Murmuration Unraveled. She said the piece’s title refers to the pattern that starlings make in the sky when flying in large numbers, more than a flock.
“I’m fairly new here at UCA,” Hornbrook said. “Printmaking has not been very prolific here, and our students haven’t seen much of it exhibited.
“I have been missing the people I know who are printmakers,” she said. “I thought it would be good to have a show of printmaking and invite the artists I know who are printmakers to show their works.
“I see these fellow artists maybe once a year, but we are always connected,” Hornbrook said, smiling. “I am excited to see their work on display here at UCA.”
Another UCA artist has work in the show — Professor Emeritus Roger Bowman, who retired from the art department three years ago.
He has three pieces of work in the exhibit — an untitled monotype and a second monotype he titled Cache River, both created in 2017, and a monoprint Fallen Tree, which he created in 2014.
Bowman has a BFA degree in painting and drawing from Arkansas State University and an MFA degree in printmaking from the University of Iowa. He taught at UCA from 1988 until 2010.
“I still work every day,” he told visitors at the exhibit’s opening reception. “I have a small press at my studio here in Conway. It’s hard to believe I have been retired four years. Time flies when you work all day.”
Other artists who have ties to the River Valley & Ozark Edition coverage area and have work in the show are as follows:
• Melissa Gill of Little Rock, associate professor of art at Hendrix College in Conway, has one piece in the show — Radial Flow, which is a relief with hand-coloring and embroidery. She holds a BFA from the University of Arizona, a Master of Arts degree from Purdue University and an MFA from Indiana University at Bloomington.
• Tammy Harrington of Russellville, professor of art at the University of the Ozarks at Clarksville, has two pieces in the exhibit — Chrysanthemum and Bound, both intaglio prints and paper cuts. She earned a BFA from the University of South Dakota and an MFA from Wichita State University and is married to Neal Harrington.
• Neal Harrington of Russellville, associate professor of art at Arkansas Tech University, has one piece in the exhibit, a woodcut he titled Roller Venus 2013. He holds a BFA from the University of South Dakota and an MFA from Wichita State University in Kansas.
The featured artist-in-residence of the Baum Gallery exhibit is David C. Williams of Brooklyn, New York. He will give a printmaking demonstration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 14 in Schichtl Hall at UCA. He will also give a lecture at 1:40 p.m. Feb. 15 in McCastlain Hall 143. Both events are free and open to the public.