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Artist Rebecca Skelton sees wrestle between unconscious and rational mind on Big Ink press at the Morean Art Center

28 Aug 2019, Posted by Madi Latimer in ART Matters, Community, Events, Press Releases

St. Petersburg, FL (Sep. 28 thru 29, 2019) – The Morean Arts Center, will host a special exhibition celebrating the ancient art of printmaking with contemporary themes and a one-of-a-kind super-sized woodblock printing press the weekend of September 28 thru 29. The exhibit is free and open to the public from 11 am to 4 pm. The exhibit was created in partnership with BIG INK LLC of New Hampshire, a non-profit with a mission of educating the public about woodblock printing.

“The Morean is partnering with BIG INK to bring this resource to the community because printing equipment of this scale and portability is rare,” said Morean Arts Center Executive Director Howayda Affan. “It aligns with our mission to engage the community in art experiences. Children of all ages will be especially delighted with the scale of this work and the opportunity to see the artists hands-on in producing the printed works together. It is a process that merges lessons of creativity, communication and team work,” she added.

Artist Rebecca Skelton who teaches drawing at the Morean Arts Center was among the 17 Florida artists selected to participate in the exhibition and demonstrations. She is currently woodcarving a piece titled “Carry Me” which is a continuum of the theme of unconscious and rational thought she has explored in non-objective and abstracted figure-oriented imagery in painting, drawing, and copper sculptures. During the exhibition she will produce at least three prints of the horse carrying a woman into the unknown. “Sometimes the subconscious has to carry the intellect and sometimes they fight,” said Skelton.

The process of carving the woodblock has revealed layers of meaning and symbols within the print. “In this woodblock printing process, you are reduced to a palette of a single color, so the textures you carve become the color,” explained Skelton. “The road has a texture that also moves like water. If we are growing, we are always going upstream. The female rider has her face buried in the horse’s mane. She trusts that the horse, here a symbol of the unconscious, knows where it is going.” she added.

Skelton has been producing work exploring this theme since 2005. The print features a moon and stars on a night sky. “The future is dark and you have to be carried along into it. We don’t always have the courage or the knowledge to move forward,” added Skelton.

BIG INK travels across the US with their custom-built press, helping artist teams print at designated stops along the way. “We selected St. Petersburg because of its vibrant creative community and the Morean Arts Center because of their 100 plus year commitment to promoting the arts,” said BIG INK’s Director Lyell Castonguay. “The partnership furthers our mission to inspire greater appreciation for large-scale woodblock printmaking and extend its practice.”

The press will be set up in the Synovus Gallery of the Morean Arts Center at 719 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. The audience experience planned for the weekend includes a live demonstration, an exhibit of Big Ink art from prior wood block artist collaborations that is available for sale, and the opportunity to sample BIG INK drinks and desserts at the Banyan Café on Central, in the Morean Arts Center.

Families and children will have the opportunity to prepare for the BIG INK exhibit by doing their own color mixing and mono-printing project at the Saturday’s at the Morean FREE Community workshop being held in the Bank of America Children’s Learning Center Classroom on Saturday, September 21. The morning drop-in sessions begin at

10 am and the afternoon at 1 pm for ages 5 to 10. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the entire workshop.

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About the Morean Arts Center: The Morean Arts Center, with roots dating back to 1917 as the Art Club of St. Petersburg, focuses on an innovative, community-oriented approach to art and art education. The mission of the Morean Arts Center is to connect people with art and to contribute to the economic development of the region. Operating under the Morean Arts Center includes the Chihuly Collection, Glass Studio and Hot Shop and the Morean Center for Clay. To learn more visit http://www.moreanartscenter.org.

About Big Ink: BIG INK, LLC facilitates large-scale woodblock printing events at galleries, art centers,

universities, and museums across the country. BIG INK’s mission is to inspire a greater public

appreciation for woodblock printmaking and extend its practice. To learn more visit: https://www.bigink.org/

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