Edison State exhibit features Baker


PIQUA — The Edison State Community College Art Department is featuring artist Bryan Christopher Baker during its October exhibition. The exhibit, “Letterpress Prints—Parts, Pieces, & Patterns,” is on display in the Anne Vaccaro and David Myers Gallery at the Piqua Campus during normal campus hours.

Baker is a letterpress printmaker who owns and operates Stukenborg Press, which makes limited-edition relief prints using antique letterpress equipment. After spending years doing traditional letterpress work using hand-set typography and carved blocks to create posters and various other kinds of ephemera, he branched out to more artistic projects that utilized other materials on his presses. Choosing minimal elements and printing directly from physical objects on the bed of the press, he began to make designs that captured interactions of simple shapes on the page.

Rather than forming distinct pictures or specific representations, he instead attempts to capture a sense of things being briefly bound in new relationships with each other. Presentations of these printed situations are meant to investigate the subtle moments where things may shift in the mind of the observer, hoping to find the moment when they can almost be seen as acting in a new way. Efforts are made to stop there and render that delicate brink of understanding.

An ongoing series of Baker’s work involves printing with large numbers of classic six-sided dice. The dice are held together tightly on the bed of a printing press while a thin layer of ink is applied to their upper faces; impressions are then made by rolling paper across the total array. After printing each design, the same set of dice is then cleaned, tumbled, and reset into a new composition for the next edition.

“Common dice are used because they’re such a familiar object to most people, and it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t held one,” Baker said. “Viewers can be mesmerized by patterns they see and hopefully also be totally at ease with them—maybe even somewhat able to vicariously handle the very elements used to create the artwork.”

Baker received his BFA in printmaking from Ohio University and his MFA, also in printmaking, from the University of Tennessee. He’s taught classes and workshops at Arrowmont, Ox-Bow, Penland, The Center for Book Arts (NYC), UT Knoxville, Clarion University, and the College for Creative Studies.

For additional information, email Greg Clem, Edison State Professor of Fine Arts, at [email protected]. Learn more about Stukenborg Press by visiting www.stukenborgpress.com.

Photo Attached: Artwork by Bryan Christopher Baker

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