The state of printmaking will be the subject of this year's Southern Graphics Council Conference, held from March 26 to 29 in Richmond. "Command Print" is expected to draw more than 1,000 artists here, and more than 30 galleries throughout the city will participate by presenting exhibits dealing with modern print techniques.
It's one more reason the city is gaining a reputation in the international arts community, notably for Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Arts, which opened the Center for Digital Print Media a few years ago. David Freed, a printmaker and retired VCU instructor, has tried to bring the convention here for years, and his successor, Holly Morrison, and VCU Painting and Printmaking chairman Richard Roth lately took up the banner.
"The art is rooted in traditional techniques but always connected to replication," explains Andrew Kozlowski, VCU conference coordinator. "This includes things we take for granted, like cereal boxes and money. We love our traditional techniques, but we're looking at the directions that image-making is going."
The keynote speakers for the conference are the husband-and-wife team of Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett, co-publishers of Art on Paper magazine. They are also the directors of Triple Candle, a nonprofit contemporary-art venue founded in Harlem in 2001.
Kerry James Marshall, a painter and sculptor who recently created a super-hero comic intertwining ancient African culture with modern-day technology, will receive the council's lifetime achievement award. The Chicago resident won a MacArthur "genius grant" in 1997.
For more information, call Kozlowski at 591-9037 or visit sgc.vcu.edu.