“Fire and Ink,” featuring Hollis Engley’s pottery and Alice Nicholson Galick’s prints, will merge with Printmakers Network of Southern New England’s 30th anniversary at the Cahoon Museum of American Art in what curator Annie Dean called an exhibition of a “wide variety of intellectual and skilled artists and techniques.”
With the prompt of “Pearls,” which is the title of the anniversary show, 20 artists will show a portfolio of 7” by 7” prints, whose individual styles should lead viewers to find other larger work alongside, including an 84” tall pochoir (stencil) piece by Amanda Lebel. There are samples of process and materials: copper plates, stencil and an interactive touch screen educating the public on how prints are made. Jo Yarrington will do a unique window installation using film, a first for the museum.
Perhaps the common thread of all these exciting artworks is depth. Engley’s pots look like royal edibles, like something the Earth extruded and then glazed with her best minerals. Galick’s prints exude a similar mystery and deep connection to the natural world, as does an example of Pearls, by Rhea Nowak, “Familiar,” from her “Succession” series, an intaglio with hand-stitching on handmade paper, featuring a country road’s mailboxes, tree roots and the runic life below encapsulated in two bottles, all in crepuscular colors. Yarrington’s mission statement speaks ofexpressing the liminal space between waking and dreaming, imagination and reality.
These are the first significant solo exhibitions for both. Another common thread is that both take great pleasure in mastering very complex processes (both of which can master the maker) and which have an element of surprise in what is revealed by that making.