By Bob Tomolillo
Heartfelt thanks go out to all artists who contributed print-work to the members’ show at Phillips Exeter’s Lamont Gallery. After working for more than a year with The Boston Printmakers’ team, culling through entries and editing text, I thought I might have dulled my senses to the 148 works submitted; however, upon viewing the prints expertly placed within the gallery space, some hanging from the ceiling, some on pedestals, some asymmetrically presented, I was surprised by the dynamic display of technique-laden imagery used to illustrate the topics of the day. Americans have just experienced one of the most contentious presidential elections in our history—the likes of which we may not see again in our lifetimes—and the issues explained through our print-work complemented the amplified atmosphere of the election season.
The Lamont Gallery staff was first-rate and deserves credit for accommodating such a large group of artists. Gallery director Lauren O’Neal notes, “The range of work, the diversity of printmaking techniques, and the variety of interpretations of the subject matter allow visitors from all backgrounds to make connections with the work.” The premier New England art magazine, Artscope, published a feature article about the exhibition. Author Linda Chestney asks the question, “Why is it that certain facets of our life become bigger than life? Why do some issues eat at the core of who and what we are—and cause us to passionately focus on it—to make change? When we grasp the gravity of why ‘this’ (whatever it maybe) is important to us, why do we tenaciously persevere to make a difference? Quite simply—because it matters.”
With the exhibition,The Boston Printmakers’ membership signals a strong collective voice that understands the powerful potential inherent in prints to explain the ideas, customs, and concerns of our culture in the broadest of terms. Our participation “in print” demonstrates our strong, vibrant democracy and ensures our ability to express our hopes and desires—and, ultimately, that which encourages change for the greater good.