All summer long

PrintHouston festival highlights the growing popularity of printmaking as art

PrintHouston festival highlights the growing popularity of printmaking as art

PrintHouston 2012
Guests gathered at the Anya Tish Gallery for opening of Sizzle! Hot Wax Prints by Paula Roland, part of this summer's PrintHouston festival. Photo by Julie Knutson
PrintHouston 2012
Orna Feinstein, Montezuma, 2012, Print on plastic, floor installation measuring 6” x 96” x 82”. On view at PrintHouston: NEXT courtesy of Anya Tish Gallery. Photo by Julie Knutson
PrintHouston 2012
Elvia Perrin, Trace, 2012, Intaglio and chine collé, 10” x 8”. On view at PrintHouston: NEXT. Courtesy of PrintHouston
PrintHouston 2012
Jon Swindler, Winter’s Over, 2012, Lithography on kozo in poplar frames, 96” x 64” x 3”. On view at PrintHouston: NEXT. Photo by Julie Knutson
PrintHouston 2012
Carlos Pozo, Towers and Splines, 2012, Serigraphy, 12” x 18”. On view at PrintHouston: NEXT. Courtesy of PrintHouston
PrintHouston 2012
Works by Ellen Orseck and Joelle Verstraeten at the Wade Wilson Gallery's Impressions show, on view through July 7 as part of PrintHouston 2012. Photo by Julie Knutson
PrintHouston 2012
PrintHouston 2012
PrintHouston 2012
PrintHouston 2012
PrintHouston 2012
PrintHouston 2012

In two short years, PrintHouston has managed to take hold of the city's summer art schedule with sponsored shows at nearly 30 galleries and museums a testament to the rising popularity of printmaking around the country and, in particular, around the Bayou City.

"Something rather interesting is happening in town," explained Dena Woodall before running through a list of newly-opened print shops and recent printmaking shows at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where she serves as a curator for prints and drawings.

"It's incredible to see the different ways prints are being utilized today," said curator Dena Woodall. "Artists are constantly shifting and moving in new technical  directions."

"In the last half decade, Houston has developed a strong group of printmakers that really promote the medium," she told CultureMap in a recent phone interview. "PrintHouston is a wonderful example of that."

As juror and curatorial lead for the festival's NEXT exhibit a selection of roughly 40 works culled from an open call to artists across the nation Woodall had an opportunity to look contemporary printmaking in the eye, getting a snapshot of the range of approaches PrintHouston attendees will see across the city through end of the summer.

"It's incredible to see the different ways prints are being utilized today. Artists are constantly shifting and moving in new technical directions. Of the more than 300 submissions we received, there were sculptures and books mixed in with works that used very traditional methods. Someone even sent a video that displayed this rapid, interconnected succession of prints."

On view though Tuesday at the 4411 Montrose gallery complex, which features excellent print exhibits at Wade Wilson and Anya Tish, the Next show encapulates many of the forward-thinking printmaking perspectives seen through PrintHouston's participating spaces.

Click here to see the festival's full schedule of lectures and shows, including Woodall's forthcoming Art of Exaggeration print exhibit at the MFAH.