Sunday, January 11, 2009
I think that I found Maria Arango's work originally through a link on Wet Canvas to her 1000 Woodcuts page. I first "met" Maria online when I belonged to the Baren forum discussion group; I don't think she and I have ever exchanged words, but she was (and likely still is!) an incredible coordinator for the Baren printmaking exchanges.
Maria is a talented and incredibly prolific printmaking artist whose main focus is woodblock printing. She set herself a goal almost ten years ago to create 1000 woodcut prints. She's got over 250 posted on her page, and is still working away. You can even subscribe to her updates.
Maria keeps busy with not only printmaking for herself, but also with attending art festivals, teaching workshops, and of course, getting involved in complex, time consuming projects! One of her recent masterpieces of coordination was the Baren Cairn project (I have linked to the beginning of the project diary; scroll all the way down to the first post and read upwards to get the chronological story). Each of I believe 76 participants received a carefully and uniquely cut jigsaw piece from a huge sheet of plywood, and were instructed to be creative and contribute an image with the theme of "Cairn" on their minds. The resulting print was 64.5"x29.5" in dimension (if I got the calculation right!!); check out the participant key showing who did which block.
Not only does the final Cairn edition represent work by many talented contemporary printmaking artists, but it illustrates how printmakers are such keen and enthusiastic collaborators, willing to co-ordinate with other artists to come up with something that is so much greater than just the sum of its parts*.
Thanks for the inspiration in productivity and creativity, Maria! I always look forward to what you come up with next!
* A similar project that I'd linked to about a year ago was the Periodic Table of Elements project, coordinated by Jennifer Schmitt