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“Rt” not “Aaht.”

January 24, 2011

We must discuss art at the library. We pronounce art “Rt” as opposed to “Aaht.” Not because of the quality of work that comes through the library but because of our relationship to it.

We want art around us every day. It is something to connect us rather than set up apart.

Two artists are sharing a show, in fact. Hanging at the library now are prints by artists Leah Cerise and Sibyl Teague.

Modern printing technology is a remarkable thing. Cheap inkjet printers can make gorgeous painterly prints of your photographs, for instance. But the prints in this show are from a different, hands-on printing technology, sometimes producing a print run of just one.

This Sunday at 3:00 p.m. at the library, Leah and Sibyl will present a two-part program on these print technologies. In the first part, they will demonstrate and talk about the methods used in the show: monoprints, collagraphs, and solar etching.

After that, you are welcome to stay for the second part and try your hand at making prints. I’m curious. I know so many artists accomplished at painting, drawing, and photography who are drawn to this kind of printmaking. There is something appealing about both the process and the result.

You can see some results on the library’s walls. Leah and Sibyl’s works are like printed paintings or printed collages. I see these methods as missing links between traditional painting and drawing and modern digital methods.

With a monoprint, you “assemble” your image in some way and then print it. Once. With digital tools, you “assemble” your image on the computer and then print it. And print it again, or change it, play with it, make something new.

I can feel I’m painting myself into a corner with this argument. You’ll just have to come see the show and certainly put next Sunday on your calendar, 3:00 p.m. in the library meeting room. Tea and cookies will be served.

Another art matter at the library is our annual challenge show. This year’s challenge is “Haiku: capturing the essence.” Look for more information this week in the library and on our website.

Our challenge shows have been marvelous so far, mixing words and the visual arts in various ways. We were very pleased with last year’s poet/artist challenge, and we’ve merely narrowed the same challenge for this year.

In the Japanese haikai literature, which includes haiku, there is a tradition called “haiga,” which is often a simple painting accompanying a haiku that is usually included in calligraphy within the painting.

Our challenge show will not restrict artists and poets to exactly this form, but it serves to indicate the flavor of the challenge. For our show, the haiku can be incorporated into the work or it can be posted beside the artwork, which can be two- or three-dimensional.

We have more information in the formal challenge show details, including size restrictions. The drop-off date will be May 7, with pick-up on June 30. The show will run over Art Walk.

But May is closer than you think. Start thinking.

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