As a response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Roberta and Bob Rogers Gallery will present its second print series within this theme titled ETCH 20 / Etching Together Cooperatively Helping 2020. The first series in August, Visual Voices: Community of Ideas | Community of Prints, featured work open and created by the public at large.
This current exhibit, which opens at RBR G, October 9, presents work by emerging and established artists in the community. 20 prepared etching plates were sent out to various artists to draw on. Once returned, the plates were etched in the gallery using electrolysis, then used to produce printed editions for sale.
The print series germinated when gallery owner John Rogers began to ask himself questions that he later shared with other interested parties, such as: How do you help artists continue to create art while there is a pandemic that is closing down our country?
“You mail the materials to the artists,” Rogers said, “have them create their images in the safety of their home, have them mail the materials back and then prepare and print the etchings for them. All at no cost to the artists…and for sale. All from an idea from benefactor Jeanne Jaroch and funded by artist John Thein.
The invited artists include Littleton Alston, Byron Anway, Shawn Taseo Ballarin, Anne Burton, Keith Buswell, Erin Cross, Patricia Davis, Hanna Demma, Amanda Durig, James Ehlers, James Hapke, Paul High Horse, Turner McGehee, Rachel Mindrup, Kyle Nobles, Pecos Pryor, Toan Vuong, Danley Walkinton, and Stephanie Wright.
Gallerist Rogers and curator Thein asked the artists to focus on their image to express their reactions and thoughts related to the pandemic primarily so they could continue creating art during these times. Three examples from this show follow below.
For Keith Buswell, he continues representing a common motif, trees, in his print “Weight”: “The torus is a shape that represents constant reflexivity. It is a circle in three dimensions revolving around an axis to feed into itself. While it is used to describe the infinite nature of being, for me, it describes situational anxiety, or stress; something that feeds on itself. This has been a tough year for everyone, full of undue stress, so it is important for me to describe that visually, in my own terms.“
Turner McGehee takes a more abstracted approach to his work “Pandemoniacal Thicket.” The work, a microscopic view of the air we breathe, display dangerously pointed objects, but with a possibility of safety in sight: “There are too many sharp things and possibly dangerous puffballs everywhere. The obstacles seem impenetrable but clear space lies ahead.”
Rachel Mindrup’s work titled “Waiting Room 2020” speaks about how health protocols have changed how she maneuvers doctor’s visits: “I am accustomed to going into the doctor with my children for their appointments. As a parent I am sometimes in the waiting room, but more often back with the doctor in the examination rooms. The early stages of the pandemic ushered in a new protocol of not only were parents not allowed to come in; we were to wait in our cars. My son would then go in alone while I filled out forms via text message links. It was surreal, but I was thankful that my sons were not little children anymore.”
Rogers hopes patrons will abide by the gallery’s safety protocols which include 1. Wear masks, 2. Socially distance and 3. Limit the number of attendees. Masks are available.
“We believe in being very safe during this time of the COVID19 pandemic,” he said, “but we also believe that visual arts need to be seen directly to be fully enjoyed and fully appreciated.”
ETCH 20 / Etching Together Cooperatively Helping 2020 will be on display on October 9th through November. Located on 1806 Vinton Street, the Roberta and Bob Rogers Gallery is open to the public on Wednesday-Saturday, from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.