I was recently invited to be guest curator at the gallery at Friends Homes at Guilford in Greensboro, NC – a retirement community full of really cool people. Retired professors, artists, authors, and other professionals admire the work displayed there. I was honored to have a solo show there last October and fell in love with the place.
When Yvonne, the curator, approached me about guest curating an exhibit of student art, I immediately thought of Kate Mitchell and her wonderful prints! I knew she would have enough really strong work to fill the gallery with a solo show.
Kate is a student artist at Guilford College. Her work is flawless. She works really hard and is fairly prolific even at her young age; she’s a junior this year. She makes fantastic, meticulous drawings, woodcut and linocut prints.
I first met Kate a couple years ago while I was a TA for Roy Nydorf’s woodcut printing class at Guilford. Then we took an etching class together. Kate has a tenacious work ethic and meticulous attention to detail. She works harder than most artists I know. Plus she is just an excellent human being.
When we hung Kate’s prints and I looked at them all together as a body of work, I saw how autobiographical they are. Her subjects resemble Kate herself, although she says that’s coincidental. I absolutely love how Kate illuminates the subtle beauty of life!
I was proud and delighted to be involved in bringing Kate’s beautiful work to The Friends Homes. The artist talk was a success – packed with people admiring Kate’s work and asking interesting questions. Kate’s French Braids print brought viewers back to their childhoods. And there were several questions about Kate’s carving and printing processes.
Here’s Kate’s artist statement from the show:
My name is Kate Mitchell and I am a junior Art major, specializing in Printmaking, at Guilford College. I didn’t know I wanted to be a printmaker until my sophomore year when I took Roy Nydorf’s woodcut class. I absolutely fell in love with the amount of discipline and attention to detail that printmaking demands. It takes strength and thought and care, which is all I could ever wish to portray through my work. This is a collection of both linocut relief prints and etchings that I have made in the last two years.
Linocut is a printmaking technique where a design is carved into a sheet of linoleum. The raised, uncarved, areas are then inked and transferred onto paper, resulting in a mirror image of the carved design. Etching is an intaglio technique of printmaking that involves the use of metal plates and acid erosion. Intaglio means that, instead of applying the ink to the surface of the plate, the ink is held in acid-created indents or incisions made in the plates and the surface is wiped clean. Just like with linocuts, the inked areas are then transferred onto paper, resulting in a finished print.
There is some magic that happens between the scratching of a design on a metal plate, submerging it in acid, watching tiny bubbles form…inking up the plate, painstakingly wiping the access ink off, placing plate and paper on pressbed, cranking it through the press, lifing up the blankets and paper to reveal a print. Pure magic.
These are some of my recent etchings.
Prints are for sale. Prices upon request.