The University of Rhode Island’s Art Department will be welcoming three artists from the Printmakers’ Network of Southern New England as guests in multiple printing classes next week. The group’s work is currently being featured in the Main Art Gallery, located in the Fine Arts Center.

Barbara Pagh, one of the group’s original members, is a professor in the Arts department, and was instrumental in bringing this exhibit, “Pressing On”, to the University.

“We have gallery committee, so I proposed it as an exhibition,” Pagh said. “We try to have different media in this space; this exhibition was important for the printmaking students here to be able to come see.”

Pagh, a printmaker as well as a professor, has been with the group since its formation in 1992. She became interested in printmaking as an undergrad, and studied it in grad school.

“Through printmaking, in many cases, you can make multiple copies,” Pagh explained. “There are various processes involved in it, such as woodcut, linoleum cut, lithography, calographs and screen printing.”

On Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week, members of the group will be doing technique demonstrations for printmaking students. Pagh explained some of the ideas that the classes have been learning, including different techniques and histories of different style. Lithography is one of the more common style of printmaking, and some students are actually able to learn on the medium that it originated: limestone.

“It was invented in the late 1700s, and it was originally done on limestone,” she explained. “We have limestones here; some students actually get to draw on the limestone. Honoré Daumier was one of the first people to use lithographs. In the 1800s, he worked for a French newspaper, where he did editorial cartoons. He would draw on stone, and which was then turned into prints from that stone.”

Of the 30 members of the group, about 25 artists have pieces on display in the exhibition. One of the artists, Johnny Adimando, just recently received the 2016 RISCA Fellowship in Drawing and Printmaking. His work in the exhibition stands out as the only piece that is not framed. It uses a variety of methods and mediums, and hangs on the wall by tacks. Other pieces in the gallery are representative of some newer and more novel styles of printmaking.

“There are a lot of different techniques, and we have most of the techniques represented within the group,” Pagh said. “There are new techniques also; we have a few people that are working with digital print making. The whole idea of that is that you’re making an original work of art on the computer and printing it out.”

Just outside the Main Gallery, in the showcases along the hallway, more of the group’s work can be seen. The art showcased here is from a portfolio called PRINT3, which features 26 different works of art, which measure six inches by six inches when folded flat. These 26 prints are then contained in a 6×6 box.  

“Pressing On” is open in the Main Gallery until February 25th. For more information about the Printmakers’ Network of Southern New England, you can visit their website here: