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“Impressions” exhibition hits its mark

Posted by:
January 25, 2017

A retrospective exhibit featuring printmaker and artist Craig Cornwall
premieres at PLU on February 8.

(Monday, January 23, 2017 – TACOMA, WA) It all starts with a mark: drawings with graphite, charcoal, ink and color, lithographs with marks of crayon, washes, rich color with multiple layers and wood cuts with marks that are created by the gouge of a knife. In the upcoming Pacific Lutheran Gallery exhibition “Impressions,” marks come to life in printings and drawings.

“Impressions” is a retrospective exhibition by PLU`s recently-retired printmaker, Craig Cornwall. Cornwall received a B.F.A. from Brigham Young University with an emphasis in printmaking and a master’s degree from the University of New Mexico. He is a Master Printer in lithography trained at the world-renowned Tamarind Institute.

The imagery in “Impressions” is diverse in style and approach, reflecting an ever-changing view point. The inspiration for the title, “Impressions,” is plural, it speaks to fine art prints as well as a lasting mental image. Artwork will be on display February 8 – March 8, with an opening reception Wednesday, February 15 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.

“I love mark making, and printmaking and drawing are really about just that, the making of marks,” Cornwall explains. “Marks are abstract but become meaningful when they create a pattern of texture that are then recognized as symbols with meaning. Often it is the mark that I am drawn to first and then to the symbol that it represents.”

All works are on paper, which is a surface that is both delicate and durable. The absorbent surface asks to receive the mark of the artist. Since this is a retrospective exhibit, Cornwall speaks to the process and evolution of his work over the course of his career.

“The jazz trumpeter Miles Davis once said ‘You can’t do what you did six months ago, that’s old stuff.’ I have found this to be true for me,” Cornwall says. “I find myself constantly looking forward to the next new set of marks or the next concept that I want to explore. It is the newness of the future that seems to be so attractive, what it looks like and how it will show itself in my work is always exciting.”

Each piece has memories and meaning that are significant. Some of the works are amusing, others draw on Cornwall’s religious and spiritual beliefs, while others found their meaning in time and the act of growing older. The ultimate meaning of the work is for the viewer to glean.

The University Gallery is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and by appointment. The Gallery is located in Ingram Hall on the northwest corner of the Pacific Lutheran University campus.