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2009 Multiple Originals XIV


In my studio,  I usually think in terms of  mini-narratives and metaphors. The formal elements come later, after I begin to work on an image.Leaving specific information out helps make the images more open to the viewer. The finished image may not have the same associations or meanings for viewers, but it might.

Recently I've been venturing into Textille Art, using print processes on cotton rather than paper. This has been really fun, I'm interested to see how far I can go with it--
I respond to both my physical location and the environment of ideas. Expressing contrasts, making comparisons and weaving dichotomies into the meanings of images. I combine traditional and non-traditional techniques, hand-coloring, collage and chine colle.
My art is developed from a narrative fragmenting of images. My childhood was rich with colorful characters, steel magnolias and a confluence of mixed messages. The consequence of this is a creative ability to find humor in most things. My aesthetics reflect these poetic dichotomies: beauty with calculation, the bitter with the sweet, the humorous with the serious; the literary with the familiar; clandestine moments with collected observations. I enjoy the play of metamorphic connections with the subconscious and senses. Sexual entendre and duality of meanings are explored with symbolic and psychological innuendo. Images are juxtaposed, altered, and accessoried with a tongue-in-cheek attitude to form the focus of my work.
Veronica Ceci is an artist, Master Printer, independent curator and educator living in Austin, TX. Her work has recently been featured in exhibitions at The Manhattan Graphics Center in NYC, The Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont, TX and Werkstadt in Berlin, Germany.

I am a printmaker living and working in Austin, Texas. My work is informed and inspired by the myth, culture, and traditional arts of the lands of my heritage: the American South and Eastern Europe.

I create fantastical characters and use them as a means to explore ideas of the bittersweet moments of human interaction.

I wrap these characters within worlds of magical realism that evoke a history and culture that could be found in folklore or fairytales, both of which are a big inspiration for me.

More recently I have been exploring ideas of memory and burden, and ideas of sin and redemption.

I am currently working on a series of eight 3 x 5 ½ foot hand-carved woodcuts titled "The Villagers: Carrying Things from Home.” I’m using these Villagers as a way to depict the intention and accountability of one’s actions and carrying the burden of those actions’ consequences. I am currently co-publishing the series with Flatbed Press in Austin, Texas.

My experience creating hand-pulled woodblock prints spans over twenty years—a lot of time for the quiet meditation of carving and the splinters that go with it. I print without machinery, using palm gouges to carve and a simple wooden spoon as my press. I only make one print because in our times of material and media abundance only one is necessary. I work reductively, carving and printing in stages so that each block is reduced or destroyed as the image is produced and created. Each image remains singular, thus sacred, reflecting one experience in time.


The many contrasts inherent in these woodblock prints keep me engaged—the fast gestural line that is carved slowly, a random splash that takes hours to create, the raised rough wood becoming a dark smooth inked line, the obsessive pattern throughout providing both unity and noise.


Through my imagery I seek to obfuscate, deconstruct, reassemble and transform my everyday relationships with the shapes and patterns of the world. I seek images which deliberately set on edge the associations we bring to forms as our perceptual associations drive our entire way of thinking. I am not a symbolist nor a pure abstractionist: I use forms which might mean many things, have several names, or be both whimsical and terribly dark at the same time. The images serve as a metaphor between the visual impression of something and the conjuring of its name. Each image is an invitation to explore our ever-changing stream of perceptions and from that experience gain a type of wisdom for which there are no words.


       Lately when I create art it is about getting out of my own head. Letting go of control over the world and planning every minute. It is a kind of meditation that allows my emotions to spill onto the page without being filtered, judged, and edited. I try to let my subconscious direct the process. I like to use organic materials I collect from my yard and on walks. I also use cut paper and found objects in my work. I love that what is essentially a weed can turn into something beautiful on the page and it has given me a new way of looking at the world around me. I have found that art helps me to be more intuitive, creative, and relaxed in all aspects of my life.

I strive for Magritte's basic intention, to make art with a "disturbing poetic effect."ť My work presents exotic subjects in the drama of black and white, or the subtle monochromatic tones of printers' inks. The prints are based on my photos of real places and slightly mysterious objects that are embraced by a post-apocalyptic anxiety, which induces a state of psychological unease in the viewer. The images raise questions, but knowing the back story doesn't necessarily provide comfort. The result is by turns intimate, earthy, fragile, universal, and contemporary. The images are full of the organic subtlety showing the naked beauty of weathered rock and plants, contrasted with man-made architectural elements. The organic elements complement the man-made. In purely aesthetic terms, the works use an interplay of tones and textures, with formal qualities of composition in the arrangements of objects under the viewer's gaze. The unfamiliar induces a state of ambiguity mixed with a strange longing or nostalgia. The camera captures temporal events, figurative and narrative, fragments in the cycle of life and death. History is revealed in multiple layers with an underlying order and inherent drama exposed in contrast and detail, painterly and sculptural at the same time.

"i work intuitively creating inner 'vistas' as i go, while choosing universal simplicity.  i want the viewer to transcend in their thoughts, feelings and spirituality." mary hunter

I create dreamy, layered landscapes that evoke the history and memory of place. My recent work is based on travels in the Middle East, where competing historical narratives and cultural memories shape modern life. These works portray a shared landscape, repeatedly divided, and the beauty of a land we only hear about in terms of blood shed. Beneath the divisions of religion, culture or nationality we construct, lies the common human experience.

I discovered printmaking relatively late in life when I took my first printmaking class in 2001. I like the process and the surprises inherent in printmaking. I am continually amazed that I am able to overcome the mess and the dirt that are part of printmaking, but I like the creativity the process brings about. 
I often use my own handmade paper for my printmaking, and I love how the unique characteristics of the paper influence the final print. I am also a gardener, and this is perhaps why I like to use images that appear in nature in my artwork (and in some ways my art is an extension of my gardening). 

I was living in New Mexico when a fortuitous requirement of printmaking coursework for my graduate program in art therapy led me to expression in another medium. Since that time I have been exploring printmaking and creating soft ethereal-like inspirational images. The circle or circular movement can often be seen in my artwork. The circle is a universal symbol with extensive meaning--a continuous symbol that has no beginning and no end. Throughout my life I have created circles, benefiting from the sense of comfort, peace, and total integration.

How I feel when I am making art is perfectly described in what Don Miguel Ruiz says: "When you are in your creation and you are doing what you love to do, you become what you really are again. You are not thinking in that moment; you are expressing.” I love being in that space where I am not really thinking, I am expressing what I am feeling inside. One could say that I make art to please the eye and touch the soul.

Melanie is an experimental media artist and printmaker with an affinity for color and texture. Her work embodies the historically iconic and metaphorically rich and expressive imagery of the horse. Her focus is not necessarily upon the physical aspect of individual breeds, but upon the unique and universal attributes of legendary equus and its dialog with the human spirit.

AWARDS

KENTUCKY STATE FAIR, Best in Show Fine Arts & Craft, Purchase Award (2015)
KENTUCKY STATE FAIR, First Prize Printmaking (2014)
KENTUCKY STATE FAIR, First Prize Printmaking (2013)
FLORAL FUSSION, Best Two Dimensional Art Award (2012)
KENTUCKY STATE FAIR, Best in Show Fine Arts & Craft, Purchase Award (2011)
FRANKLIN COUNTY FAIR, Best of Show, Frankfort, Kentucky (2011)
KENTUCKY STATE FAIR, First Prize Printmaking (2010)
GEORGETOWN ART WORKS FALL ART HOP, First Place Printmaking (Juror Katherine Brimberry) (2009)

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2015 POINT OF VIEW, River Gallery, Chattanooga, Tennessee (Two person)
2014 SECRETS OF PRINTMAKING, Northern Prints Gallery, Duluth, Minnesota (invitational)
2014 ART FOR EARTH DAY, NEW HORIZONS, Waters of Superior, Duluth, Minnesota (group)
2014 HOT, BRIGHT, & BOLD, Completely Kentucky, Frankfort, Kentucky (solo)
2013 SELECTIONS, Gallery Hop featured Artist, Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft, Louisville, Kentucky
2013 ETCHINGS, Ripple River Gallery, Aitken, Minnesota (solo)
2013 CONTEMPORARY BOTANICALS Living Arts & Science Center (juried)
2013 NATURAL SELECTION, Good Foods Café, Lexington, Kentucky (solo)
2012 TREES AND EXPLORATION, Grand Theater Gallery, Frankfort, Kentucky (solo)
2012 ART IN THE GARDENS, Liberty Hall, Frankfort, Kentucky
2012 Floral Fusion, Scott County Cultural Center, Georgetown, Kentucky
2012 FULL SPECTRUM, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (curated)
2012 EARTHDAY, Northern Prints Gallery, Duluth, Minnesota (invitational)
2012 NATURE ETCHINGS, Capital Sellers, Frankfort, Kentucky (solo)
2012 ABOUT FACE, Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, Kentucky (juried/invitational)
2011 CATOCTIN, ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE, Delaplaine Center, Frederick, Maryland (invitational)
2011 KENTUCKY STATE FAIR, Best in Show – Purchase Award, Louisville, Kentucky
2011 HAND PRINTED, Grand Hand Gallery, St Paul, Minnesota (invitational)

GALLERY AFFILIATIONS

Amity Art Foundation, Inc, Woodbridge, CT Ann Tower Gallery, Lexington, KY
Bickerstaff, Heath, Smiley, et al, Austin, TX Bluff Country Artist Gallery, Spring Grove, MN
Brown Manufacturing Company, Austin, TX Collectors Art Group, Cincinnati, OH
Dain Bosworth, Minneapolis, Minnesota Completely Kentucky, Frankfort, KY
Hallmark Corporation, Kansas City, Missouri Iowa Artisans Gallery, Iowa City, IA
Kentucky State Fair, Kentucky Artist Collection Grand Hand Gallery, St. Paul, MN
Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, Texas Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY
Minnesota, Mining & Manufacturing, St Paul, MN Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville, KY
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA Kirchman Gallery, Johnson City, Texas
Post Properties Collection, Dallas, Texas Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Regents Hospital, Wayzata, Minnesota Northern Prints Gallery, Duluth, MN
Sower Foundation, Kansas City, Missouri Ripple River Gallery, Aitkin, MN
Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, Missouri River Gallery, Chattanooga, TN
Sprint Corporation, Overland Park, Kansas Waters of Superior, Duluth, MN
Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, Minnesota
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
University of South Dakota, Vermilion, SD

ARTIST STATEMENT

Growing concern for the survival of natural areas and the need I perceive in people to understand their relationship to the environment have encouraged me to work with nature related themes. My images are focused on revealing and presenting how nature has functioned. I extract the concepts which I visually explore, from my observations of natural sites, science publications, and maps. By creating these works I hope to direct the viewer’s attention to the irreplaceable value, sublime beauty, and mystery found within our natural environment.

LECTURES/RELATED ACTIVIES

2014 Soft Foam Printing & Mural Project, Josephine Sculpture Garden Arts Festival, Frank fort, Kentucky
2013 Pasta Machine Printing, Ripple River Gallery, Aitkin, MN
2012 Artist in Residence, Petrified Forest National Park, Relief Printing Workshop, Arizona
2012 Art in the Garden, Etching presentation, Liberty Hall Frankfort, Kentucky
2011 Soft Foam Printing Workshop, Josephine Sculpture Garden Arts Festival, Frank fort, Kentucky
2011 Artist in Residence, Catoctin Mountain Park, Presentation and Workshop, Maryland
2009 Artist in Residence, Joshua Tree National Park, Presentation and Workshops, California
2009 Working with Galleries, Women Printmakers of Austin Meeting, Austin, Texas
2008 Printing Demonstration, Annarella Home, Georgetown, Texas
2008 Presentation, Concept Development and Printing Technique, St Stephen’s Episcopal School, Austin, TX
2008 Printing Demonstration, Dougherty Art Center, Austin, Texas
2008 Working with Galleries, Presentation, Women Printmakers of Austin, Austin, Texas

PUBLICATIONS (contributing artist)

2014 Historic House and Tree Tour, Tree Coalition Publication
2013 Tree Tour, Tree Coalition Publication
2008 Trail Guide to the Northland Experience in Prints and Poetry, Calyx Press
2006 Response, Calyx Press, Lake Superior Writers & Northern Printmakers Alliance
2005 Dust & Fire, Bemidji State University Publications, Maureen Gibbon

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts, Studio Art 1974; University of Minnesota, Duluth
Drafting Certificate 1976, St Paul Vocational School, St Paul, Minnesota
Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering 1978; ICS Pennsylvania

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY

I was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and after moving multiple times my parents chose Minnesota where I lived until relocating to Austin, Texas, and now reside in Frankfort, Kentucky. My college years were concentrated in Duluth attending St. Scholastica, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin, Superior. This was followed by a Drafting Certificate from St. Paul Vocational School leading to a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering during employment with Minnesota, Mining & Manufacturing. My work at 3M was focused on Product Development. I hold one patent for a wire holding devise. The need for a greater involvement with art resulted in a membership at Flatbed Press, a print publishing studio in Austin, Texas. Participation in the Serie Project at Coronado Studio and work at Slugfest Printmaking Workshop evolved into setting up my own studio. Focus on the intaglio process and stratograph, a monoprint technique have resulted in several bodies of work. "Personal Poems” is a series of small biographical etchings dealing with issues of adulthood. "Ideal Mechanical Advantage” presents the transition from the factual world of engineering to sensory perception. "Global Fables” is a collection of pieces that study of the tradition of a short story with a moral from diverse cultures. I am now focused on work which involves the perilous future of the natural world. The common factor in each of these series is the narrative thread which each piece presents.

I currently create nature-related abstract prints. The line work images represent a small part of a natural being, such as an insect. As I work to create these images, I abstract them as I am sketching before I begin cutting my plates.

I also have created a series of prints based on imagery in an old book about geography: Map, Mail Stops, Contour, and Flight Path

And, I occasionally create a representational print such as Medium Brew, for the 2016 WPA Trade.

Charred bits of wood perfected by Pacific fires, pigment-laden solutions, torn papers, woven fibers, heart and soul – materials that evoke and inspire my visual language to articulate pain, sorrow, joy, the intricacies and complexities of relationships.

Printmaking inspires me, painting feeds my soul, and incorporating castaways in works of combined collage fulfills my desire to extend life. I work on canvas and paper with always a symbolic bit of jaune interspersed for the light of the sun, a sacred reference for hope.

I graduated with a B.A. in Art and English from Houston Baptist University, August 2003.

My work is about man's impact on nature and nature's impact on man.

I am a collector, a collector of forms, textures, and patterns from nature and machinery. I am driven by the thrill of discovery. My process involves research, selection, sorting and documentation. I combine long walks with time in science and engineering libraries, looking for cross category correlations.

Scientists order the world by dividing it into categories - genus and species. I dig through the stacks in reference libraries, collecting the curious. Then I put them in a blender. Mix them up and reassemble them by different common factors - function, source, visual similarity or emotive quality.

I'm fascinated with the printmaking process, especially the delightful surprises that come the first time a new plate is pulled. I gravitate towards the textural effects of collagraphs finding platemaking is only limited by one’s imagination. My work has been exhibited throughout the US but primarily in Texas, with a second solo show on the books for Chicago in 2015.

When in the print studio, I most frequently create Monotypes/Monoprints and, because of the freedom this process allows, these prints become wonderful partners to my paintings.

I enjoy blending narrative and portraiture (and sometimes a bit of humor) into my works. My style is influenced by the German Expressionists and the American Social Realists.

My work has been collected and shown internationally and nationally.


Exhibition Details
WHEN:
9/26/2009 - 10/17/2009
WHERE:
Pump Project
CONTACTS:
Chair: Anna Kinbar
Co-Chair: Ruthie Powers
Participate
Event Deadline
The deadline for this event (9/1/2009) has passed.
Photo Gallery