Come one, come all to the Printmakers Ball

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By Shane Nicholson
Managing Editor

The redefined boundaries of print will be on display this Friday as the Printmakers Ball exhibit opens at the Rockford Art Museum (RAM).

The Ball features the work of 14 artists who have set out to explore and expand new methods of print, from portable presses to complex artistic installations, addressing socio-political issues with their skills.

The Fatherless Print Posse will be among the artists represented, featuring local printer and co-owner of Rockford Art Deli Jarrod Hennis.

“Fatherless has been slinging ink in exhibitions and art fairs since the summer of 2010, however this summer is shaping up to be our biggest yet,” Hennis said.

“Following stops at The Illinois State Museum, Somerset House (U.K.) and most recently the Walnut Ink Projects,  the opportunity to be featured in the Rockford Art Museum has us ramping up production of prints, as well as an installation effort that was inspired by both our individual backgrounds and our collective aspirations.

“Our most exciting nugget is the collaboration for this latest body of work, with our friend Benjamin Rider. Rider, from London, England, has established a style and body of work recognized alongside Fatherless in People of Print’s self-titled publication of the print industry’s current forces working tirelessly to ‘keep print alive’ and we are thrilled to have him as an integral part of the Printmaker’s Ball exhibit.”

Other artists taking part in the Ball include Michael Barnes, Aaron S. Coleman, Eric Fuertes (Dumbo Press), Martin Mazorra, Cleon Peterson, Sean Starwars, Joseph Velasquez, and Tara Zanzig (Tararchy). Fuertes’ work in sculpture featured in an exhibit at RAM earlier this year.

The exhibition is slated to run through Sept. 27 at RAM. Museum members are invited to a preview of the exhibit, 5-7 p.m. on Friday.

A public opening will follow from 7-10 p.m. featuring live printings by the artists, a DJ and cash bar.

Fatherless will be taking part in other printers’ events this summer, Hennis says.

“While (the Printmakers Ball) runs through September, we are excited to announce that we also have a solo exhibit at Print Club London opening July 9, which will be followed up with our participation in ‘The Promise of Something and Nothing’ exhibit at Sonce Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles which runs Aug 1. through Aug. 29.”

But having this exhibit open in Rockford is a testament to the increasing emphasis on unique and local art, said Hennis.

“We are proud to have the support of our local community,” he said, “and honored to be included among industry leading artists.”


Printmakers Ball events

OPEN PRINTMAKING with Fatherless (ALL AGES)
SAT. JUNE 27 | 2–4 p.m., FREE WITH RAM ADMISSION
NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED
Watch the action during this printmaking demo.

PRINTMAKING WORKSHOP FOR YOUTH (AGES 5–12)
with Michael Barnes
SAT. JULY 18 | 2–4 p.m., $20
REGISTRATION REQUIRED BY JUL 9

PINTS + PRINTS (AGES 21+)
THU. AUG. 13 | 6:30–8:30 p.m., $25, CASH BAR
REGISTRATION REQUIRED BY AUG 10
Hometown crew Fatherless puts a twist on the museum’s popular “sip and paint” series, Cork and Canvas, at this interactive printmaking event at RAM.

PRINTMAKING WORKSHOP FOR TEENS (AGES 13–18)
with Michael Barnes
SAT. AUG. 22 | 2–4 p.m., $20
REGISTRATION REQUIRED BY AUG 13

PRINTMAKERS TALK: MATTHEW VINCENT
THU. SEP. 10 | 7 p.m., FREE
NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED
Rock Valley College art professor Matthew Vincent talks about printmaking and its place in modern and contemporary art.

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