Thursday, September 29, 2011

Prints in art gallery support Japan

By Julianne Bartosz
Copy Editor

Saint Mary’s University’s Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries are displaying printmaking pieces that aid tsunami and earthquake relief in Japan.

Printmakers from around the world have contributed to the exhibit, titled “Inspired by Japan: Aid Through the Art of Printmaking.” The exhibit is being shown internationally by a group of artists who together formed the Baren Forum. They gathered with the goal of helping the Japanese victims of the tsunami and earthquake of 2011. The Baren Forum will aid victims by selling its prints and donating proceeds to MercyCorps in collaboration with Peace Winds in Japan.

The pieces in the gallery have been made by woodblock printmaking, many in the traditional printmaking Japanese style. Woodblock printmaking is a relief matrix, meaning areas showing white when printed are cut away from the block used. The design of the print is the original surface level of the block. The block is then inked and pressed firmly on desired material to make a print, a challenging task because the design of the print is cut in reverse to create a mirror image when printed.

SMU’s Art and Design Department Chair Preston Lawing created one piece on display in the gallery. His piece is called “Kamakura Omikuji” and displays a tradition practiced when visiting a Shinto temple. The description of his piece in the gallery explains the tradition and notes that his print’s message is, “We do not accept this disaster as our fate, and we will continue to be strong.”

The exhibit will be open through Sunday, Oct. 2. More information about the
exhibit and the purchase of pieces can be found online at

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