On Sunday Oct. 23, the Rockaway Artists Alliance welcomed visitors to join its celebration of its annual printmaking art show, InkSplash. The opening reception took place at RAA’s sTudio 7 Gallery in Fort Tilden, where various artist came together to show off their amazing original pieces of work with the crowd.
“This year is particularly exciting because it’s the first anniversary of us having a printmaking studio on premise,” said RAA’s Victoria Barber, who organized the event. “I would say half of the work in this show was done in the printmaking studio and the other half was printed by instructors or master printmakers we had come to our workshops.” This particular printmaking studio is the first of its kind in Queens, but InkSplash itself has been going strong for seven years straight, showcasing prints by many local artists as well as a number of master printmakers who have contributed to the RAA’s ongoing print community and who share work at bigger exhibits in Manhattan like the BlackBird studio and Manhattan Graphics Center. Many of the artists that are featured this year shared a wide variety of prints that showed their unique originality and methods used. Some of these specific techniques ranged from monoprint, intaglio, relief, solar plate etching, photo transfers and experimentation. Diving into the gallery of an artist’s imagination, Barber featured her own works created by monoprinting. The monoprinting method allows substantial freedom in the approach to imagery, and is considered to be a very flexible technique because it allows an artist to decide whether to use water-based or oil-based inks, or to include other materials or not.
Imagery during this process can be done with brushes and rollers or removed with bare hands, rags, cotton swabs or anything pointed. To do this, an artist must be willing to be spontaneous, have the right drawing skills, express feelings, and let their minds guide them from there. After all, this exhibit is a celebration of printmaking in a changing world.
Zeller is one of the many artists featured at InkSplash. “I’ve been working with these for two to three years now,” said Zeller, who is displaying four beautiful print pieces at the gallery. She explained the process of how she goes about creating them which requires lots of skill. “I will capture an image digitally, alter it, work with it and print on clear transfer film. Through the use of clear transfer mediums that image is then released on whatever substrate I’m working with. I put aluminum foil through a dishwasher to make a distressed look, they represent old photographic plates,” said Zeller. “The process of putting the image onto the substrate is very printmaking like. I embellish it with oil paints and UV-protective clothes.” InkSplash will be display until Sunday, November 13. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, 12-4 p.m.