A new exhibit called “Beautiful Pulp: Paper, Book and Print Art” opens today (Friday) in the Chessman Gallery at the Lincoln City Cultural Center. A live virtual gallery tour will take place at 4 p.m. on Facebook at Lincolncityculture.
People can also view the show in person from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Thursday through Sunday until Dec. 7. Masks and social distancing are required in the building.
This exhibit combines bookmaking, printmaking and paper arts by Jane Hodgkins, Julia Goos and Helen Abe-Ichien. Several kinds of handmade books (like accordion fold, explosion and traditional book binding) will be represented, as well as a variety of printing techniques including linocuts, silk screens, nature prints and eco-dyed leaf prints.
Hodgkins had a career in program development and administration in health care and education. She has lived and worked in Lincoln County for the past 25 years, and during that time she has taken classes in papermaking, bookbinding and ecodying at the Sitka Center for Arts and Ecology, the Newport Paper Arts Festival and the Yaquina Art Association. She began printmaking after retiring five years ago.
Building and creating have always been important to Hodgkins, and in retirement, she has channeled her energy into printmaking and exploring ways to highlight and exhibit prints. She has found that making books using prints has proven to be a great way to store and display prints, particularly when running out of wall space.
Her books in this exhibit combine a love of bookmaking and printmaking. They are displayed in non-traditional formats, incorporated in handbound books, accordion books, pop-up books, leather journals and notebooks.
Goos says history is often considered a record of the past, but she believes history is both constructed and deconstructed, resulting in gaps in both time and people’s understanding. “Consequently, we are left with traces of the past and fragmented evidence of an earlier time,” she said. “Existing historical evidence could be documents, letters, artifacts, remnants, books, buildings, etc. These materials, distanced by the passage of time, often leave us with voids in our comprehension.”
The reconstruction of history and narrative is what Goos tries to visually reproduce in her work, “resulting in a dual recognition of how we become aware of history and how we become aware of our own participation in the construction of history,” she said. “Like an empty page in a novel that we are left to fill in, history allows us to take part in the writing of our own version of the past. I regard history as not exact, specific or necessarily true, rather that history is negotiable, interpretable and ever changing.”
Abe-Ichien was born in 1951 on a U.S. Air Force Base in Fukuoka, Japan. Her family moved to Los Angeles in 1957, and she graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a master’s in printmaking. She worked as a printmaking instructor at the university level and also as an art instructor in the Los Angeles area. She moved to South Beach in 2014 and since then has been creating prints and reworking them using other various media, such as prismacolor pencils, pastels and watercolors.
“Printmaking enables the highly controlled production and exact reproduction of a given image from print to print,” Abe-Ichien said. “Despite this, a variety of factors make room for inconsistencies between prints of the same image. Sometimes differences are slight or less detectable. Other times differences are dramatic and obvious.”
Often, she uses a print as the basis for additional modification using a variety of non-printmaking techniques, such as bookmaking. Incorporating her prints into bookmaking allows the prints to become experimental, further breaking away from the idea of printmaking as simply replication. For her, bookmaking is a way to add a new perspective in looking at the prints.
The Chessman Gallery is located inside the Lincoln City Cultural Center at 540 NE Highway 101. For more information, call 541-994-9994, or go online at lincolncity-culturalcenter.org.