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2012 Delta National Small Prints Exhibition opens at Bradbury Gallery Jan. 19


The  2012 Delta National Small Prints Exhibition will open to the public at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19, at the Bradbury Gallery, Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro. This exhibition is a survey of some of the most outstanding examples of small prints being made in the United States today. Held annually in January, it honors the belief in and commitment to the art of contemporary printmaking. The exhibition runs through Friday, Feb. 17. The exhibition, the catalog, and the reception are all free and open to the public.

Each year a well-known professional in the field of printmaking is asked to place his or her mark on this series by determining which works will be included. This year, Roberta Waddell, a most distinguished juror, selected the 2012 exhibition. Her expertise in printmaking has been well established through her positions at Worcester Art Museum and the Toledo Museum of Art and, most recently, as Curator of Prints (now Emerita) at the New York Public Library.  The library collection, which she oversaw for 23 years, contains close to 200,000 original prints.

Waddell undertook the daunting task of reviewing nearly six hundred submissions to choose the exhibition. An additional facet of the jurying process requires the guest curator to determine which prints will receive awards. She comments, “When the annual Delta National Small Prints Exhibition catalogue would arrive at the Print Room of the New York Public Library, I always looked forward to seeing what had been selected that year. Although I regularly reviewed artists' portfolios at the library, the Bradbury Gallery exhibitions always included artists who were new to me.”

Waddell has chosen excellent examples from a broad range of print types for this exhibition. Included are several traditional methods of printmaking such as woodcuts, screenprints, mezzotints, lithographs, and etchings, and several new processes, such as digital prints, rubber stamps, and vitreographs.

The popularity of the Delta National Small Prints Exhibition is evident by the support it receives from the community.  A large group of generous and devoted patrons help to fund the annual event. Their assistance also provides for the ongoing expansion of a now significant print collection being built through annual acquisitions from the exhibition.  Waddell acknowledges the importance of this and states, “As a fan of this competition, I was particularly pleased to be invited to jury the 2012 show. I was also delighted that my choices would not only be on view in the gallery, but a number of the prints would also become part of the permanent collection of art at Arkansas State University, available for future exhibitions and display around campus.”

Four of the 60 artists seen in the show are from Arkansas—they are Dustyn Bork from Batesville, Melissa Gill and Aj Smith from Little Rock, and John Salvest from Jonesboro. There were also several international entries this year.  One foreign artist, Canadian Heather Huston, was included.

This exhibition is dedicated to all artists young and old, dead and living, because these artists have helped to shape our world and give greater meaning to our lives.

A full-color catalog of the entire exhibition will be available at the opening reception. Bradbury Gallery hours are 12 noon-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2-5 p.m. on Sunday. For additional information, contact Les Christensen, director, the Bradbury Gallery, (870) 972-2567.

Image information, from top right:
Melissa Gill
Namaste Namaskar 1, 2011              
3 block woodcut
15 x 22 inches

Aj Smith
Ms. Cora, 2009
stone lithograph
6 x 4 inches