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The Experimental Printmaking Institute (EPI) is hosting a British artist-scholar in residence and has organized an exhibition on display in Atlanta during the National Black Arts Festival.

Internationally known artist Duncan Bullen’s residency begins today and concludes Monday, Aug. 8. He is working on a new project that involves the study of Pennsylvania’s Quaker tradition. He will create a unique artist book with the assistance of Lafayette students Sara Smith-Katz (Stroudsburg, Pa.) and Preeza Shrestha (Kathmandu, Nepal) as well as local artist MaryAnn Miller. Kutztown University student Jase Clark and Michael Smoot of Towson University also are involved. The project is part of the Celebration of the Book and is sponsored by Skillman Library, Lafayette’s Roethke Humanities Festival, the Williams Center for the Arts Gallery, and EPI.

Bullen has gained international recognition for his luminous minimalist works. His art is in such collections as those of British School of Rome, Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, Leeds Education Authority, Royal College of Art, Gartmore Investment Management, and many private collections throughout Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States.

The artist was born in Norwich, England in 1962. He studied fine art at Leeds Polytechnic (1985-1988) and printmaking at Royal College of Art, London (1991-1992). In 1992 he was awarded a Rome Scholarship and spent a year at Accademia Britannica. He has exhibited his work widely and is represented by Jill George Gallery, London, where he has had four solo exhibitions. He has also been involved in exhibitions at The White Gallery, Brighton and Hove, the Festival Show, Brighton Independent Printmaking, San Francisco International Art Exposition, 20/21 Century Art Fair (London), and Toronto International Art Fair, to name a few.

“I spend lots of time making prints, drawings and paintings, searching for a balance between what is seen and what is sensed,” says Bullen. “I use simple formal structures to convey my interest in the luminous and the chromatic. This in turn makes a space that can be looked at or looked through.”

For more information or to visit with the artist during his time at the studio, contact Curlee Holton, professor of art and EPI director, at (610) 330-5592.

Elements in Focus: Color & Creativity in Printmaking, an exhibition of fine prints created at EPI, went on display Friday and will continue its run through Sunday, July 24, at the Center Space Gallery, Woodruff Arts Center, High Museum in Atlanta, Ga. The exhibition is curated by Susan Ellis, EPI assistant director, and sponsored by the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF), David C. Driskell Center, and Lafayette.

The exhibition features works by Sam Gilliam, this year’s NBAF collector’s guild artist. In addition, it features other artists who have recently created new works at EPI, including Faith Ringgold, Melvin Edwards, David C. Driskell, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Grace Hartigan, and Holton.

“Collectively, these artists challenge the prevailing notions in printmaking with color, style, and technique,” according to EPI. “They share energy, ingenuity, and a passion for experimentation. EPI brings together these multiple elements of creativity from the painter, the sculptor, the scientist, and the engineer in an effort to create new works that challenge prevailing notions of art-making and the creative enterprise.”

Gilliam has been recognized as one of the most important and inventive colorists of the last 40 years. He continues to push the boundaries of technique and reinvent his ideas about making art, bringing the traditions of the Washington Color School and Abstract Expressionism to a new level. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Grants, and numerous honorary doctorates. The most extensive presentation of the artist’s career to date, Sam Gilliam: A Retrospective, will open in October at Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

EPI represents the new generation of dedicated fine print ateliers with a commitment to exploration. It has distinguished itself as one of the few workshops dedicated to celebrating and maintaining the highest standards of the printmaking tradition while challenging artists to investigate innovative techniques and new media in order to broaden and refocus the language of printmaking.

NBAF has evolved from a biannual summer arts festival to a year-round cultural institution that provides teacher training, youth leadership development, an annual holiday gathering, and an annual 10-day festival held during the third week of July. NBAF typically presents the work of artists from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and Latin America. Over the years, it has featured internationally acclaimed artists such as Maya Angelou, Harry Belafonte, Spike Lee, Wynton Marsalis, Tito Puente, Faith Ringgold, Cicely Tyson, and more.

Gilliam, one of America’s leading abstract painters, was selected to create the 2005 NBAF Collector’s Guild print. He participated in an artist talk with Holton Sunday at the Woodruff Arts Center/Hill Auditorium. Following the printing of the Faith Ringgold collector print for last year’s festival, EPI was chosen to create this year’s print.

Gilliam’s creation, Wind, is a multimedia print composed of traditional and non-traditional printmaking processes. The first step involved creating silk-screen stencils from original painting strokes by the artist. These screens were then printed in two different variations — yellow, and red onto a large area of orange. The second process required the creation of a collagraph (collage of different textured surfaces that are attached to a plate and then printed). This section of the print was attached to a large red felt square that was also printed with a serigraph image. A second element to be attached was a relief print executed in traditional Japanese reductive woodcut process printed by Wayne Crothers.

Wind is part of an ongoing series produced by EPI. The next edition in the series will be published for the David C. Driskell Center.

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