Exhibition: “Within Without”
The Anderson Center at Tower View presents Within Without, a printmaking exhibition exploring the human condition, looking at both interior human experiences and our interactions with each other and the wider world. A free artist reception featuring hors d’oeuvres and live music by The Nunnery is taking place Friday, March 10, 2023. The exhibition opens on Saturday, February 11 and runs through Saturday, May 6.
Within Without showcases work by alumni of the Anderson Center’s flagship artist-in-residence program, ranging from 1997 to 2022. Featured artists include Betsy Bowen, Anna Carlson, Irene Chan (Ch’An Press), Wendy Fernstrum, Jonathan Herrera Soto, Cameron Jarvis, Ursula Lang, Youmee Lee, Kathryn Maxwell, Benjamin Merritt, Matt Quinn, Roberta Restaino, C.B. Sherlock, Richard Stephens (Super Session Press), and Tom Virgin (Extra Virgin Press). True to the interdisciplinary spirit of the Anderson Center, these works are in conversation with many other fields, including ecology, philosophy, music, astronomy, and more.
Making prints and binding books encourages a certain kind of working. Unlike the immediacy of drawing on paper, making prints is a multi-step process. Printmakers create plates, assemble type, or prepare a screen; they mix and apply ink; and then finally press an image. Some works of art go through this process many times to layer images or text.
Printmakers routinely re-mix things, changing an ink color or re-combining disparate images to create new works. It is a particular way of working that combines artistic vision with a need for technical skill, often followed by the repetitive manual labor of inking plates and running the press again and again to create an edition of prints.
Due to the possibility of creating multiples, printmaking is often considered a more accessible, less exclusive artform. Yet in a world where digital publishing is cheap and immediate, the choice to use the time-tested technology of a press is a meaningful one. From woodblocks to etching, monoprints to letterpress, prints have texture and an aesthetic – evidence of the human hand at work and the materials we use to communicate with each other.
Handicap accessible and free to the public, the Main Gallery at the Anderson Center is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
About the Artists
Betsy Bowen makes woodblock prints from her studio in a former Grand Marais, Minnesota, Lutheran church. Her art shows us a glimpse of life in the north woods, and her prints illustrate many books for children and adults. Betsy was a 1997 artist-in-residence at the Anderson Center and is the 2004 recipient of the A.P. Anderson Award for outstanding contributions to the arts in Minnesota.
Anna Carlson’s conceptual work explores dress and identity through the processes of dyeing and printmaking. She combines her interest in current issues with her practice by merging hand and digital processes. “My creative journey began as a child; I loved to make paper dolls and cut out dresses from wallpaper sample books.” She is a 2018 alumna of the Anderson Center Artist Residency Program.
Irene Chan is a multidisciplinary artist who works conceptually in print media, papermaking, installation, storytelling performance, and book arts. She has established Ch’An Press through which she has self-published prints and 35 limited-edition artist books to date. Irene is a professor of Visual Arts and Asian Studies at the University of Maryland. She is a 2018 Anderson Center artist-in-residence.
Wendy Fernstrum is a writer and visual artist based in St. Paul, Minnesota. The artist books that she creates range from installations to small devotional books featuring poems by mystics. Wendy is a 2018 alumna of the Anderson Center Artist Residency Program.
Print-based artist Jonathan Herrera Soto curates installations and performances that explore parallels between the physical pain inflicted on politicized bodies and the consumption of art objects in the gallery. Jonathan is currently a PD Soros Fellow and MFA student at the Yale School of Art. He was an artist-in-residence at the Anderson Center in 2018.
Cameron Jarvis traces the movement of Black People across land and water, and investigates the many environments we inhabit by collecting, archiving and recontextualizing images, objects and materials. Through music, painting and printmaking, Cameron’s work speaks such ideas as destination, security, exploration, and our relationship to urban infrastructure. He is a 2016 alumnus of the Anderson Center Artist Residency Program.
Ursula Lang is a geographer, writer, and artist. Her work explores the interwoven natures of environment and society. Through diverse methods including ethnography and participatory mapping, Ursula’s work aims to contribute to more just, equitable, inclusive and caring places. Ursula was a 2022 Anderson Center artist-in-residence.
Youmee Lee, a Korean American storyteller, explores materials and weaves narrative illustrations into art. She recently created a 2D animated film about a deaf girl’s coming-of-age story and struggles with the soundscape, partly based on her and other mainstreamed deaf children’s experiences. She is a 2021 alumna of the Anderson Center Deaf Artist Residency Program and served as the program’s assistant coordinator in 2022.
Kathryn Maxwell‘s artwork explores the many forms of human connections to each other and the universe. Images from nature and the iconography of science and spirituality combine in mixed media works, prints, and installations that have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Based in Tempe, AZ, Kathryn is a Professor Emerita at Arizona State University. She was a 2017 Anderson Center artist-in-residence.
Benjamin Merritt‘s ongoing body of work is a series of drawings, monoprints, and sculptural forms. The work combines abstraction with handwritten text that draws from how meaning is derived from and created by language. Benjamin is specifically interested in the way language is used in context of chronic illness and pain, and how language complicates personal relationships. He was an artist-in-residence at the Anderson Center in 2021.
Roberta Restaino‘s practice focuses on the impact of technology on the evolutionary process. Originally from Italy, Roberta investigates what she calls the “disappearing” line between new technological processes and nature. Her artistic practice as a scientist whose microscopic observations of the natural world lead her to new discoveries and new platforms. She was an artist-in-residence at the Anderson Center in 2017.
Matt Quinn is an artist and educator in Red Wing, MN. He was an artist-in-residence at the Anderson Center in 2006.
CB Sherlock‘s work originates in themes of nature, community, belonging, and identity which is achieved through combining lettered images, nature, and unique book structures. As a letterpress printer, book artist and paper engineer, CB creates small edition books, prints, and one of a kind works of art. In book making she is able to use the intimacy, flexibility, movement through time, and inter-active qualities of the book. She was a 2011 and 2015 Anderson Center artist-in-residence.
Richard Stephens explores regional landmarks while combining linocut, letterpress and hand-tinting techniques to produce prints that retain an immediate, sketch-like quality. Richard publishes artist books under his Super Session Press imprint – often in collaboration with other artists and writers – and produces an annual limited-edition calendar that also serves as a document of the artist’s most recent subject matter. Richard is a 2010 and 2015 alum of the Anderson Center Artist Residency Program.
Tom Virgin is the proprietor of Extra Virgin Press, where he collaborates with Miami’s rich community of artists and writers to create democratic multiples and prints for public institutions and community at large. A frequent guest at artist communities across the country, including 7 visits to the Anderson Center between 2009 and 2018, Tom’s practice has evolved from relief printmaking, to book arts, and collaborative projects as a result of spending each summer with artists and writers.
This invitational show has been curated by Stephanie Lynn Rogers.
Featured images (L to R): Prints by Kathryn Maxwell, Roberta Restaino, and Betsy Bowen.