Art review: The Printed Image 4 printmaking competition purchase awards


Jason Stamper: “Dinner with Friends”

The Friends of the Library sponsors our competitions. This year, we held The Printed Image 4, a national juried printmaking competition. From 194 entries, our juror, Yuji Hiratsuka, chose 52 prints. Our Hirschberg Gallery has a display about printmaking techniques. Hiratuska will be coming to Topeka on December 9 for an artist’s talk at 7 pm.
From the Friends of the Library’s sponsorship, we are able to purchase art for the library’s collection. Here are this year’s purchase award winners, and why we like them.

Randy Clark, “La Cosa Esta Muy Fregada”

Abner Jonas, “Fence Gap”


These prints are all bold, and all are very well-made. Stamper’s “Dinner with Friends” is a large woodcut, with lots of things going on in the scene. In the distance are a graveyard (upper left) and either a city or grain elevator (upper right.) It takes a minute to figure out the scene: crows, sharing a meal. Crows eat carrion, which is an important job in the ecosystem. Imagine what the world would be like if they didn’t do this job. And the crows almost seem to have a personality.
Jonas’s “Fence Gap” is actually a scene in Finland. Except for the construction of the fence, it could be anywhere in the world. In the center distance, power wires visible above the trees make it unmistakeably 20th – 21st century.

Kathleen Ristinen: “Faded Love Letters”

Ristinen’s “Faded Love Letters” refers to the sheet music on the piano. The print has a lovely sense of nostalgia, a woman just turning from the music to look over her shoulder. Ristinen uses old family photographs for her inspiration.
Clark’s “La Cosa Esta Muy Fregada” has a mysterious scale: it could be huge, like architectural ruins – Stonehenge, or ancient Roman aqueducts. But the source of the image is simple: a torn-out page from a spiral-bound notebook.

The Purchase Awards will join the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library’s permanent art collection, the oldest public art collection in Topeka. The library has collected art since 1890, and now has more than 6,000 works of art in the collection – a great treasure for our community. We congratulate all of the artists whose work was accepted into The Printed Image 4.The exhibit runs through December 30, 2012. Don’t miss it!


Sherry Best

Our library has a very cool art collection, and I get to be in charge of it. I started drawing when I was 4 years old, and never stopped making art. I want to do more than show you art, I want to help you understand it, relate to it, and 'get' it. Art lets us share what it is to be human.