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Common Street Arts is pleased to present Prints at the Scale of People—an exhibition of experimental printmaking that explores oversized examples of the medium. Composed on a single sheet of paper, or through an additive approach of many small-scale prints joined together, works in the exhibition are as large or larger than the human form and their dimensions evoke those more traditionally associated with painting, sculpture, and installation art. The participating artists—Stephen Benenson, Rebecca Goodale, Anna Hepler, and Elizabeth Jabar—use a wide range of printmaking techniques to offer new perspectives on the potential of prints to be in dialogue with other mediums and to reflect the human experience at “life size.”
Stephen Benenson is a painter who has lived and worked in Portland, Maine for the past decade. Stephen received his MFA in Painting from the Yale School of Art in 2014, and maintains a studio at the Space Studios building. His practice focuses on experimental application of geometry and color, juxtaposed with references to art history and children’s drawings.
Rebecca Goodale is a book artist, whose work can be found in numerous public collections throughout the United States including the local collections at Bowdoin College Library, the Maine Women Writers Collection, and the Portland Museum of Art. Her awards include A New Forms Regional Initiative Grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts, A Mellon Grant for the Humanities at Bates College, and in 1995 she was a Resident Scholar for the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska. Rebecca teaches Design and Book Arts for the USM Art Department. She is also the Program Coordinator for USM’s Kate Cheney Chappell’83 Center for Book Arts.
Anna Hepler Situated between two- and three-dimensional, Anna Hepler’s poetic sculptures, installations, and works on paper reflect her fascination with structures both fixed and ephemeral. As she describes: “I am interested in such visually cohesive forms that nevertheless contain a chaotic structure—tangles of thread, electronic circuitry, swarms of insects in flight. There is something terrifying about their massive intricacy, and something beautiful in the rhythms of their minute and repetitive detail.” Using labor-intensive methods, Hepler reconstructs the forms she observes around her, then plays with their dimensionality, creating geometric shapes that she inflates and deflates, transforming flat strips of plastic and fabric into bulbous protrusions, and producing cyanotypes and prints from her three-dimensional works. Hepler is especially taken with a latticed, spherical shape, which loosely resembles Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome, and which she revisits in many of her works.
Elizabeth Jabar is a feminist printmaker who explores a range of personal-political issues in her work including cultural identity, representation, equity and maternal ethics. Her practice is located in the studio, the classroom and the community where she co-creates collaborative and participatory projects with students, colleagues and community members. Her hybrid works on paper and cloth display a highly personal visual language that incorporates motifs from popular culture, folk art, religious traditions and textiles. Elizabeth’s printed objects and environments embody printmakings’ democratic tradition of resistance and collective power and reflect her commitment to art as a tool for social change.