As members of the Stockton community returned from spring break on March 21, the Noyes Art Gallery held the Wood Engravers’ Network Fourth Triennial Traveling Exhibition. The exhibition, sponsored and hosted by the Wood Engravers Network (WEN), featured 65 contemporary relief engravings representing artists from Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, England, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Taiwan, Ukraine, and the United States.
The exhibition was moderated by the Art Gallery’s exhibition Coordinator, Dr. Denise McGarvey, who explained the entire concept of wood engraving before leading the tour around the gallery.
Some of the artists whose works were exhibited include Maria Arango Diener (Nevada, US), Michael Atkin (United Kingdom), Wesley Bates (Canada), Rossitza Hadzhiera (Bulgaria), Lawrence Keaty (Taiwan), Cindy Mannion (Ireland), Agrkady Pugachevsky (Lativa), Colleen Dwire (California), and our very own professor of Art at Stockton, Michael McGarvey (New Jersey, United States).
McGarvey explained that the essence of the exhibition was to create awareness about wood engraving and preserve the art while showcasing the works of various artists in print.
According to McGarvey, wood engraving became popular in the late 1700s in northern England. It spread very fast to the rest of Europe and eventually to Asia and North America. The art involves creating designs on wooden blocks from inspiration drawn from images or patterns. Its tradition includes common items like bookplates, cards, certificates, posters, etc.
The Wood Engravers Network (WEN) is a non-profit arts organization committed to the advancement of wood engraving arts and to furthering public recognition and appreciation of the art of wood engraving, its practice, and history as art, illustration, graphic design, and printing. It also aims at providing educational and exhibition opportunities and increases public access to the historic process of wood engraving.
Students learned more about internships, career opportunities in wood engraving, and insights on what it takes to be successful in this practice. Furthermore, they were able to ask questions to artists who have had real experiences and were able to share various challenges they have encountered while pursuing their dreams in the field. In the end, WEN stated that they are open to welcoming new members into the network and those interested in becoming members should visit the organization’s website www.woodengravers.org . In addition to that, most of the exhibited prints are available for purchase and to get information about them, Dr. Denise contacted via her email, firstname.lastname@example.org and she will gladly contact the artist for you.