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Suite Treats!

July 24, 2017

Blog post written by archives student assistant, Christina Frasier.

Recently, Kristin Law and I finished processing a collection newly available to Special Collections patrons entitled Department of Art and Art History Printmaking Collection, 1983-2012.

The collection, which was transferred to the University Archives by the UTSA Department of Art and Art History, brings together five different print suites and represents the many different techniques and styles that printmaking allows. Although my predecessor, Kira Sandoval, was the one to compile background information about this collection, I was able to look through all the prints when we arranged them into folders. I snuck a couple snaps of my favorite prints so that I could offer Top Shelf readers some examples.

Stairway of Circles lithograph print

Stairway of Circles by Jene Highstein, 2003. Printed by Neal Cox. Department of Art and Art History Printmaking Collection, UA 10.01.02.

The first print that caught my eye was from the Collaborative Editions suite, which was a long-term project dating from 1983 to 2003. Faculty and visiting artists would collaborate with students in the printmaking process in order to increase students’ technical experience. Thus, the styles and processes represented in the suite vary widely. This particular 2003 print is called Stairway of Circles by Jene Highstein and is a black and white lithograph with watercolor.

There’s also a Judy Baca print in this suite, so it’s definitely a must-see!

Exquisite Corpse #10 lithograph print

Exquisite Corpse #10 by Mila Castro, Gary Nichols, and Greg Pickens, 1994. Department of Art and Art History Printmaking Collection, UA 10.01.02.

Although I loved the print suite Exquisite Corpse in its entirety, I thought Exquisite Corpse #10 was one of those that best represented the ethos of the project. The suite consists of 18 lithographs; three artists worked on each print. The concept was to create composite “bodies” from the work of three different artists, none of whom knew what the other artists’ “parts” would look like. The result is a surrealist mélange of different styles ranging widely in formal elements but united by color. The Hare and Hound Press, a local collaborative printmaking studio run by UTSA alumni Janet Flohr and Gary Nichols, initiated the project in 1994 as a fundraiser for UTSA’s Satellite Space gallery, an off-campus gallery located in the Blue Star Arts Complex.

Tinaco Naco linocut print

Tinaco Naco by Juan de Dios Mora, 2009. Department of Art and Art History Printmaking Collection, UA 10.01.02.

The last print I want to highlight comes from the Veinticinco print suite. These twenty-five prints are all by Latino and Latina artists and use various printing techniques. This 2009 print, called Tinaco Naco, is a linocut by Juan de Dios Mora. UTSA Special Collections liked this one so much we used it on one of our promotional brochures!

Mora is a member of the UTSA Department of Art and Art History faculty, and currently has an exhibition running until August 13th at the McNay Art Museum here in San Antonio called Culture Clash. Here’s the link: https://www.mcnayart.org/exhibitions/upcoming/juan-mora-culture-clash. I heartily recommend it!

The Department of Art and Art History Printmaking Collection is available for viewing in the Special Collections reading room on the 4th floor of the John Peace Library.

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