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SHY RABBIT Print National extended, features Brad Widness

The SHY RABBIT Print National: a National Juried Exhibition has been extended through Sunday, Oct. 18, due to its overwhelming popularity. Juror, Michael D. Barnes.

Don’t miss out on viewing this groundbreaking juried exhibition, featuring 72 finely crafted limited edition and original prints by 30 nationally recognized printmakers and art educators hailing from 20 states.

The works on display are comprised of a wide selection of etchings, woodcuts, lithographs, intaglios, silk-screens, book-art and engravings, among others.

The subject matter is equally as expansive, ranging from figurative/narrative works that tell a humorous, serious, or moral tale, to thoughtfully composed and multi-layered abstracts.

Three captivating prints by Minnesota printmaker and art educator, Brad Widness, are featured in the Print National, titled “Fence, Light & Memory,” “Heated Prairie” and “Group Looking.”

Widness currently serves as assistant professor, Minnesota State University art department, specializing in graphic design and digital imaging, where he has taught since 2007.

He received his BA in visual arts from Augustana College, Sioux falls, S.D., in 1982 — cum laude; and his MFA in printmaking and drawing from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Ill., in 1991.

“I have always been fascinated with the interior landscape of memory and imagination juxtaposed against the physical spaces in which we move and act”, states Widness. “My vision is to transform the spaces I sense around me, into the spaces of thought, imagination and deep feeling.

“I do this mainly through continual re-synthesis of the materials and elements of drawing and printmaking.  The resultant images use sky versus land, interior versus exterior, form (mass) versus void and intimate spaces versus the expansive prairie landscape, as metaphors of a deeper space within myself that is continuously fluid and changing.”

Widness believes that his work can also be read as images of fleeting glimpses of everyday reality — defined by changing light.  

“I want to express the ever-changing character of how we perceive the corporeal, tangible world around us. A world that appears in one instant to be stable, static, unchanging, seems the next moment to be miraculously brand new — as though seeing if for the very first time.

“Through the process of intense drawing and image making, the work has become a landscape/still life ‘window’ into the fluid world of perceived forms, objects and spaces.

“In this spirit of fleeting, ever-changing perceptions, it is also to be seen and felt as the flat wall object that it is — an object that occupies a real space on the wall having its own integrity of surface, plane and material presence of board, paper and ink.”

“As my work develops, I intend to keep ‘pushing the edge’ concerning this fluidity and reflexivity of imagery and form — how little do I really need in a forms basic referential qualities to keep the fluidity alive — form and image pushed to their purest ‘essence’ as simple materiality, pure visual element, yet maximum metaphorical aliveness.

“In this state I envision the work to have increasingly less reference to literal specifics or naturalistic appearances. Pure form, surface and shape, in and of themselves and within a very particular order and tension, will be the conveyors of  ‘essence’’ — that of place, light and the space of deep human memory and experience.”

Widness’ work has been featured in dozens of prestigious exhibitions throughout the country, including the IPCNY ‘New Prints’ exhibition, 2008, International Print Center, New York, NY; and the seventh annual National Print Exhibition, Janet Turner Museum, CSU, Chico, Calif., among others.

His prints are also included in the Arca Artium Collection, Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minn.; and Thimmesh Fine Arts, private collection, Minneapolis, among others.

The 30 printmakers selected by juror Michael Barnes (associate professor of art and head of the printmaking program at Northern Illinois University) for inclusion in the SHY RABBIT Print National are: Tom Baker, N.J.; Daniel Britton, Ariz.; Deborah Bryan, Tenn.; Adrian Chin, Penn.; Deborah Cornell, Mass.; Andrew DeCaen, Texas; James Ehlers, Kans.; Brandon Gardner, Ala.; Christie Ginanni, Colo.; Jon Goebel, S.C.; Karla Hackenmiller, Ohio; Nicole Hand, Ky.; Rachel E. Heberling, Ohio; Dusty Herbig, N.Y.; Yuji Hiratsuka, Ore.; Ivy King, Colo.; Philip Laber, Mo.; Mike McMann, Wis.; David Moyer, Penn.; Kelly Nelson, Va.; Kathryn Polk, Ariz.; Matt Rebholz, Texas; Amy Schmierbach, Kans.; Jason Shoemaker, Tenn.; Jason Stamper, Mo.; Stephanie Standish, Wis.; Mike Stephens, Texas; Juergen Strunck, Texas; Brad Widness, Minn.; and Melinda Yale, N.Y.

SHY RABBIT presents four to six exhibitions annually, showcasing the work of emerging and nationally recognized artists from throughout the country.

The 4,000 square-foot arts center and gallery is located “off the beaten path” in a wooded commercial district on the west end of town. SHY RABBIT houses a fine art gallery, ceramic studio, two mixed-media workshops and rotating exhibition space.

Educational workshops are also offered year-round in ceramics, printmaking, Photoshop, photography and artist development courses instructed by professional artist and SHY RABBIT Creative Director D. Michael Coffee.

SHY RABBIT is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, through the closing of this exhibition.

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts: Gallery, Studio and Workshops is located at 333 Bastille Drive, two blocks north of U.S. 160, off of North Pagosa Boulevard.

For more information on SHY RABBIT, visit www.shyrabbit.com or call 731-2766. For more information on exhibitions, visit www.shyrabbit.com/Exhibits.html.