Monday, February 08, 2010

Printmakers Open Forum hosts La Ceiba Grafica

Alyse Bernstein sends us a report from The Midwives Collective & Gallery, where the Printmakers Open Forum curated a show for Philagrafika 2010. Alyse and her boyfriend Marc attended a lithography demo as part of the festivities at the gallery this past weekend. Alyse teaches lithography at the Fleisher Art Memorial.

Marc and I were grateful to discover that despite two feet of snow on Saturday The Midwives Collective and Gallery was open for business-thank you Nora! On display is one of the Independent Projects of Philagrafika 2010 entitled Recognition: The legendary tradition of contemporary printmaking in Mexico along with lithography demonstrations by Per Anderson and Martin Vinaver who are also participating artists in the exhibition.

Per and I met in the summer of 2001 at the Tamarind Institute and quickly discovered we possessed a mutual commitment to lithography and the martial arts. These topics fed many conversations about the differences and similarities of marble to limestone and Tai Chi to Aikido. Per practiced Tai Chi every morning and drew with his homemade litho crayons, pencils, and tousche wash, producing a print a day. Per encouraged me to pull a lithograph from marble while in New Mexico and was full of advice on graining, drawing, and processing the marble for printing.

Per drawing on a marble stone at Tamarind Summer 2001

Per and Martin are a part of the graphic art center La Ceiba Grafica. Together they drove to Philadelphia with a car full of demonstration materials from the Mexican state of Veracruz. One of their travel companions is a portable wooden press with a 20” x 16” bed, which was produced at the center. La Ceiba Grafica is a unique place that draws from the natural wealth and
resources found in the area.

The artists have overcome the expense of imported goods by acquiring marble from a nearby quarry, while local beaches provide silica sand employed in graining the marble, local hotels provide discarded cotton bed sheets and towels that are transformed into pulp to create handmade paper for printing, and orange peels from local groves create the turpentine used for cleanup. The center offers workshops in several disciplines beside lithography: etching, Japanese woodblock, and papermaking.

A print pulled at the Midwives Collective on Saturday from a marble stone

Marc observed that the opportunity to see the process that produces the artwork in a gallery is rare. Take advantage and stop by the Midwives Gallery on Monday, February 8, 2010 at 4:30 to see Per and Martin in action and learn more about La Ceiba Grafica and the art of lithography from marble stones.

Promotional materials from La Ceiba Grafica


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