Thursday, September 17, 2009

Prospectus Group Show, SNAP Gallery, Sept 10 - Oct 17, 2009

As a dedicated members-run printmaking center for 27 years, SNAP's member shows have consistently demonstrated a caliber on par with the city's University printmaking program. Sharing many of the same alumni due to plain geography and community building, Prospectus brings together a range of artists beyond their relationships as mentors and students and into the realm of professional peers.

Symbolically, the show stands in for Edmonton's printmaking community as it travels to Montreal and Belfast in 2010 with the possibility of bringing their printmaking communities here. Featuring many of Edmonton's esteemed printmakers like SNAP co-founder Marc Siegner and Akiko Taniguchi and Sean Caufield, the show has a healthy range of printmakers at various stages in their careers, and their range of techniques serves to compliment each other on the intimacy of mark making. But on the flip side, the inclusion of aesthetics is palpable.

Already been criticized for looking too inwardly, I am reminded about the last time I was genuinely excited about printmaking. During last year's Edmonton Print International where the works showcased moved beyond the framed 2D work of technical labour, I as a viewer, had my perception and possibilities of printmaking exponentially expanded. Having mostly experienced printmaking in the context of Edmonton's legacy, the EPI show demonstrated one clear notion: that internationally, printmaking has no disciplinary boundaries tied to its infinite technical possibilities.

SNAP continues as a closely knit community within an already closely knit printmaking scene, but this members show makes me wonder if there opportunities to exist on the fringes of this collective core? A year after having my mind blown from EPI, while scanning across a solid show by local artists, I couldn't help but reminisce about those works that pushed past their templates of what printmaking should be, and in turn caused me, as a viewer, to do the same.

- A.F. Edmonton

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