Last week, I received a mysterious, large, foam-core-padded package in the mail. Upon unwrapping it, I was reunited with a print edition I had been part of while working at UH Hilo in summer 2013. With the full print set now completed by Jon Goebel and Liv Johnson, all I have to do is sign and return most of them.
It was a strange, slightly melancholic feeling, opening that package and reading Jon’s and Liv’s lovely notes included in the package: that summer in Hawai’i was such an extraordinary, dream-like experience I don’t think I’ll ever have again, and brought me back to a place that I dearly miss.
I ended up in Hilo after the wonderful Michael Marshall invited me, as well as my old friend David A.M. Goldberg, plus artists Khalid Kodi and Wendy Yothers, to be artist-in-residence/visiting instructors in the university’s inaugural Summer Art Institute. For me, it was 6 weeks of pure magic and a decent amount of grieving, because this was only a few months after Carlos Villa had passed. And of course, as with so many good things in my life, this residency only happened because OF Carlos: I’d made Michael’s acquaintance through Carlos some time earlier.
My print image:
A durian bomb in the midst of volcano plumes, naturally.
In a really soft, green-black ink.
One of the big blank spots in my art education is printmaking: despite how naturally my style might seem to lend itself to the process, I never quite wrapped my head around it as an undergrad: photography and darkrooms were my preference, as far as reproducible media were concerned. Later, the advent of digital archival printing suited my patience levels far better, so when prints were needed, this was and is typically the route I’ve gone.
Still, the experience of actually drawing on a copper plate, and being led through the stages of print development by the masterful Liv Johnson, was wonderful, and gives me hope that I may yet engage in this ritual again, and with more of my own expertise. (Preferably, in Hilo.)