Works on Paper
Lyell Castonguay, Henry Ferreira, Elizabeth Ferrill, Megan Foster, Jonathan Palmer, and Brian Shure.
Wednesday March 30th-Sunday May 1st
Artists Reception Saturday April 2nd 5-7pm
Dedee Shattuck Gallery is pleased to present Works on Paper, the debut exhibition for its 2016 season. This exhibition features a variety of printmaking techniques and thematic explorations by six different printmakers living and working throughout the region and across the country: Lyell Castonguay, Henry Ferreira, Elizabeth Ferrill, Megan Foster, Jonathan Palmer, and Brian Shure. All of the featured artists in Works on Paper investigate some aspect of basic human behavior. Each describes experience, either real or imagined, by examining the self and one’s relation to the natural world, by seeking knowledge through detachment or communal participation, or by isolating specific imagery that represents the constructed, material world.
Lyell Castonguay is a printmaker creating narrative woodcuts that incorporate transparent colors and complex, hand carved patterning. Castonguay’s current body of work depicts the familiar imagery of birds in portraiture and masses, but they are distorted into allegorical beasts. The artist’s interest in avian subjects began six years ago when he was given two juvenile society finches. As they grew, he became fascinated with their distinct personalities. Castonguay eagerly observed them communicating with one another and watched them huddle together at night. These unassuming finches prompted an ongoing series focused on the emotional variety of birds, including: ferocity, restlessness, and uncertainty. Depictions of animals by artists such as Baskin, Frasconi, and Audubon have been a guiding force in this project’s development. Ultimately, Castonguay hopes to compile his growing bestiary of larger-than-life birds into a publication.
Lyell Castonguay teaches woodcut at print studios throughout New England. He is also the director of BIG INK (bigink.org), a collaborative project that encourages other artists to practice large woodcut. Castonguay received his BFA from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2010 and resides in Easthampton, MA. A forthcoming exhibit will be at Castle Agliè, Turin, Italy. Past exhibits include the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea; Fine Art Works Center, Provincetown, MA; Western New England University, Springfield, MA; Bromfield Gallery, Boston, MA; and the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, MA.
Striking a balance between teaching, family, and studio can be frustrating if not impossible, but I can’t think of much I‘d change. The fact is it all adds up to who I am, and ultimately, the foundation of my work. One’s life can be said to be the foundation for his or her work, but sometimes the influence is more direct. About five years ago I spent a lot of time rebuilding my studio. I removed, repaired, and replaced the floor, rebuilt the walls, put up new lights, ran new wiring, and installed the counter and sink. Soon after the studio was finished, I began to think about building with dimensional wood framing – how it relates to matrixes, layering, stacking – much like the printmaking process. I began to explore the motif of houses. Sometimes the house is used as a metaphor, and a basic idea can be married to process and image. When the process of making takes precedent, the idea is more fluid and open-ended. I approach the work with an idea, and it literally takes shape on the paper through the playing and making, the content and form.
Henry Ferreira’s work is built on a deep respect for craft. Acquired skills, absorbed through years of practice, are used as methods of exploration to execute content-driven pieces. His work always begins with observation and grows through process, while the medium and materials help form the piece. His latest body of work is more direct, processdriven, and less pre-visualized, using printmaking to build through matrix and repeat. Ferreira aims to balance thinking with making, intertwining content and form in an effort to grow his work. Ferreira works in the studio he built, located in a two hundred year old farmhouse in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, where he lives with his family. He received his MFA from the Rhode Island School Design in 1980. In the years prior, Ferreira was in the inaugural class at Bristol Community College in Fall River, Massachusetts, before completing his BFA in 1972 at Southeastern Massachusetts University (now the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth). He has been teaching at RISD since 1981 and has taught printmaking in Pont-Aven, France; San Miguel and Cuernavaca, Mexico; and Rome, Italy. He presently heads the Printmaking Department at the RISD and serves as President of RISD’s Faculty Association/Union.
The vast solitude of the American landscape is the subject matter of my work, particularly places that seem cold but emotionally charged, dehumanizing yet full of personal experience. This includes empty public places that are usually packed with people, spaces that remain tensely suspended within a quiet moment between what has occurred in the past and what will occur in the future. I utilize the pochoir technique to create my works on paper. Pochoir is a printmaking/painting method traditionally used to hand color images in books. This stencil medium that employs cutout shapes and gouache creates solid, often overlapping forms that converge into hard-edged compositions. Each overlay of shape and color responds to the simplified and functional architectural properties of airports, motels, border crossings, bus stops, and other publicly utilized institutions. The stencil functions as a layer of mediation that implements a control system to my mark-making process. The subjects in the work are all familiar yet underexamined peripheries of the American vista. The pieces exist as simplifications of the complex and paradoxical atmosphere of the public world. I explore public spaces with a sincere quest for beauty while at the same time acknowledging their tension, functionality, and ability to inherently make a statement about our behavior as human beings.
A native of Seattle, WA, Elizabeth Ferrill received her BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. She received her MFA in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. Elizabeth has had solo exhibitions nationally and internationally including in Aspen, CO; Nashville, TN; Omaha, NE; Peoria, IL; Reno, NV and Berlin, Germany. She was an artist in residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE. She taught in the printmaking departments of the University of Nevada, Reno and the Rhode Island School of Design. Elizabeth is the Artistic Director of Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking and Chair of the Artists-In-Residence program at Anderson Ranch Arts Center.