The opening reception for the collaborative BFA Senior Show featuring print and mixed media works by Converse students Katy Butler, Miranda Sawyer and Jamie Tanner will take place on May 6 from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm at the HUB-BUB Showroom Gallery in downtown Spartanburg. The event is free and open to the public. Beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be provided. The exhibit will be on display through May 28.
While Butler, Sawyer and Tanner share the screen-print process within their art, each student’s body of work is extremely different, appearing on both paper and wood panel. Students at Converse, the three women have spent the last four years honing their craft and developing their own personal style. Andrew Blanchard, the Associate Professor of Printmaking and Photography at Converse College, says, “I have had several strong BFA printmaking students in my past five years at Converse, however, never the trifecta within one graduating year. The work that these three women artist-printmakers have produced is very stellar. Having shown in several juried exhibitions (locally, regionally and nationally) as well as participated in portfolio exchanges and beyond, all three have exhibited a commitment to creating conceptually sound print work. It has a “hipness” to it that fits in perfectly with the current contemporary trends in the international printmaking community. Though all three bodies of work are unique in their own right, the screen-print process is shared among them-which embodies a cohesiveness to the show’s entirety.”
Converse Senior Katy Butler was included in the 2010 Central Michigan University Print Club Undergraduate Exchange Portfolio. This was her second time participating in this event. She was also accepted for this year’s 31st Annual Pickens County Juried Art Exhibition. According to Blanchard, “Katy’s work examines a sort of global view of interconnected relationships and how the passing of time/aging of human kind has affected everyone within it.”
Miranda Sawyer won a Juror’s Prize for her print at the 31st Annual Pickens County Juried Art Exhibition. Sawyer’s work was also accepted into the 2010 Artspace National Juried Printmaking and Photography Exhibition at the Plant Zero Art Center in Richmond, VA. When creating her pieces, Sawyer works with the screen-print process, though she prints on mounted wooden panels. The panels have intricate armatures that consist of smaller wooden panels and/or mounted Plexiglass sheets. For the HUB-BUB exhibition, Sawyer found her inspiration at the direction of an alarm clock. Blanchard explains, “Miranda’s work is a self-imposed rigor of randomly chosen times in which her alarm was set some six months ago. When the alarm sounds, whether she is driving, sleeping or eating, Miranda documents the world around her—interiors, exteriors, people, conversations, dreams, colors, feeling/emotions etc.—from their, her senior work is all derived from these instances in order to further inspect what makes her tick.”
Jamie Tanner will be exhibiting with Professor Blanchard in the 20/20 Vision: The Art of Contemporary University Printmaking at the Firehouse Gallery in Louisville, GA. Tanner’s work deals with the Neo-Dadaist notion of absurdity—referring to a juxtaposition of unrelated imagery derived from popular culture and appropriated from her environment.
Andrew Blanchard earned a BA degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2000 with an emphasis on printmaking and a minor in photography. Shortly thereafter, he traveled to Paris, France to work and study with Frederic Possot, a master lithography printer. This experience solidified his desire to be a lifelong artist-printmaker. In 2004, he earned his MFA degree from The University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS.
In the last four years, Blanchard’s lithographic and photo silkscreen prints have been included in over sixty national and international juried printmaking exhibitions. He garnered several acquisition awards at the 2009 Pacific States Biennial at the University of Hilo, Hawaii. In addition, his prints have been collected throughout the United States, as well as in France, Bulgaria, South Korea and the United Kingdom. From 2009 until 2012, his print Is This My World… I Barely Recognize? will travel along with others in the 2009 Southern Graphics Council Traveling Exhibition that will open throughout the United States. In May 2010, Blanchard’s work will appear in the hardcover book, Printmakers Today published by Schiffer Books.
Blanchard is currently the Associate Professor of Printmaking and Photography at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is also a board member of the Hub-Bub arts initiative, serving as co-curator for their exhibition space, the Showroom Gallery.