The Nature of Things

The Nature of Things marks the early years of the studio’s development and represents the work of fifteen artists affiliated with Zea Mays Printmaking at its inception.

The portfolio is limited in edition to twenty-five. Each print is hand pulled by the artist, signed and numbered and measures 11″ x 15″. The prints are individually housed in folios imprinted with the artist’s name.

Two essays accompany the prints. Aprile Gallant, Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, Smith College Museum of Art comments on the theme of The Nature of Things. Liz Chalfin, Founding Director, Zea Mays Printmaking writes about the studio and the portfolio’s significance at this point in its history.

The Prints

Meredith Broberg, Interdependence, spit bite & drypoint
My work is about the natural world and the ways that we are all interconnected within it–each cell, each species, each ecosystem. In making images, I hope to draw attention to the interdependance which makes life possible. I got my M.F.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, entering which a monotype portfolio and then veering into installation art. A Fulbright Fellowship enabled me to spend almost two years in remote research stations in Costa Rica, observing, listening and making images inspired by the astonishing vitality of forest life. I returned eager to continue living among amazing trees, and was fortunate enough to arrange a long-term Artist Residency in the Redwood Parks of Northern California. I learned Rope-Climbing so that I could accompany canopy biologists into the hidden realms of forest life hundreds of feet above the undergrowth. On the groud I taught art to inmates in a maximum security prison. My life now in small-town, small-tree New England doesn’t range as widely, but I do hope to cover a lot of ground in my work.

Tanja Butler, Mystical Marriage, etching
Tanja Butler is a painter and printmaker whose studio is located in Beverly, MA. She recieved her B.A. in Art History and Studio Art and her M.A. in painting from the University at Albany, NY. Her work has been displayed in many solo and group exhibitions across the United States. She has participated in a number of print portfolios, including The Florence Portfolio, which is now part of the Armand Hammer Collection of Art and the Vatican Museum of Contemporary Religious Art. She served twice as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington. She was a consultant for the development of guidelines for environment and art for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and lectured at the Valparaiso Institute of Liturgical Studies. Publications include Icon: Visual Images for Every Sunday, a CD-Rom of 600 images based on the church year and lectionary readings, a ritual edition lectionary, and a variety of liturgical resource materials published by Augsburg Fortress. She is currently an assistant professor of art at Gordon College in Wenham, MA, where she teaches printmaking, painting, drawing and art history.

Liz Chalfin, Vishnu Dreaming Vishnu, etching
Liz Chalfin is founder and director of Zea Mays Printmaking and the sudio’s resident artist. She received a B.A. and M.F.A. in Printmaking. Liz taught printmaking at Whittier College, California for nine years before moving to the Northeast and establishing Zea Mays Printmaking. Her monoprints, etchings, collagraphs and artist’s books are ehibited nationally and are in private collections in the U.S. and Europe. Liz’s work is in the collections of the DeCordova Museum, the Smith College Museum, and the Rare Book collection at Smith College. She is a Member of the Boston Printmakers, the Monotype Guild of New England, and the Southern Graphics Council. She teaches printmaking workshops at Zea Mays and at venues around the country and is on the faculty of Lesley University.

Brian D. Cohen, Flower, etching & engraving
Brian D. Cohen is a printmaker and the founder of Bridge Press, publisher of limited edition artist’s books, in Westminster Station, Vermont. Brian D. Cohen was graduated from Haverford College and received a Master’s degree in painting from the University of Washington in Seattle. He founded Bridge Press in 1989 to further the association and integration of visual image, original text, and book structure. Visual books and etchings by Brian D. Cohen are held by major public, university and private collections throughout the United States including the Fogg Art Museum, Yale University, New York Public Library, Mills College Center for the Book, and Portland Museum of Art, among many others. His etchings and books have been widely exhibited, and his natural science illustrations have been published in books and magazines Brian has taught drawing, painting, and printmaking at The Putney School in Vermont since 1985, where he founded and directed the Summer Programs, and was the founding artistic director of Two Rivers Printmaking Studio in White River Junction, Vermont. He offers workshops in aspects of etching throughout New England.

Martha J. Ebner, Star Gazing, drypoint
Martha J. Ebner’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions on both U.S. coasts including Washington State University Gallery, Pullman, Washington: Mehitables’ Fine Art and Furniture Gallery, Portland, OR: Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, MA: Silvermine Guild Arts Center, New Canaan, CT. Martha has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. She was a guest artist at the Frans Masereel Atelier in Kasterlee, Belgium and graduated, cum laude, with a BFA in Painting from Boston University in Boston, MA.

Anita Hunt, Shadows I, mezzotint
Anita S. Hunt studied printmaking at Antioch College in Ohio and at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has been making prints of all kinds for 25 years and has focused on monotype for the past 12. Her work has been exhibited in more than sixty group and solo shows around New England and in many national juried exhibits. Her prints are held in numerous collections in the US and abroad and have received several awards. Anita is an elected member of the Boston Printmakers and the Past President and former Exhibitions Chairperson of the Monotype Guild of New England. She is currently a guest faculty member at Zea Mays Printmaking.

Louise Kohrman, Bellatatum Again, spit bite and drypoint
Louise Kohrman is a printmaker and book artist. She received her MFA in Printmaking from The Rhode Island School of Design, her BA in printmaking at Smith College and has completed a printmaking and book arts program in Italy through the University of Georgia. Louise is a printer for Wingate Studios, taught at RISD and at Zea Mays Printmaking. Louise’s prints and artist’s books are exhibited and collected nationally. Some exhibition venues and collections include the 15th and 16th Parkside National Small Print Exhibition, The Delta National Small Prints Exhibition, La Petite X, The International Print Center New York, The Smith College Mortimer Rare Book Room, The John Hay Special Collections Library at Brown University and the Amity Art Foundation.

Bobette McCarthy, Harpswell Light, woodcut
Bobette McCarthy is a printmaker and respected member of the book community. She is currently involved in the production of fine art books. Bobette cut her first woodblock in 1966 and has been involved in printmaking ever since. She has exhibited nationally at such venues as Indianapolis Museum of Art, The McLean County Museum in Bloomington, IL and The New Mexico Printmaker’s Society. She belongs to Baren Forum and is active in promoting woodblock printmaking. She has produced several award winning books for children.

Theresa Monaco, Constantina Monaco, photopolymer intaglio
Theresa Monaco, M.F.A. Professor of Art, Emmanuel College, Boston, MA. Executive Board, The Boston Printmakers M.F.A., Printmaking, Syracuse University. Represented in many private collections

Lynn Peterfreund, The Nature of Change, etching
Lynn Peterfreund has been working as a painter, printmaker and art educator since receiving her MFA in 1980 from Pratt Institute. Her work reflects her interests in both representational and abstract art. Her most recent bodies of work are monotypes and monoprints that employ a vocabulary of forms based on years of working directly from nature, still life and the figure. The prints emphasize color, composition and personal interpretations of forms and the landscape. Lynn has taught at a variety of institutions over the past thirty years. Her work is included in hundreds of private and corporate collections.

Alison Williams, After Dinner, photopolymer intaglio
Alison Williams is an artist specializing in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking and Photography. She has a Drawing and Painting Degree from Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh, Scotland. She has exhibited and taught in Scotland, New Zealand and America. Through her work, Alison translates her political and social ideas as well as conveying her love and concerns for environments, both emotional and physical. Alison’s prints are filled with layered text and photographic imagery creating a complex interwoven space within each piece. Like memory, the images and words fade and become sharp again, they are often juxtaposed next to and laid over one another. She uses non-toxic photopolymer etching and mono print methods having refined her approach through years of development.

Amaryllis Siniossoglou, No. 93, lithograph
Amaryllis Siniossoglou studied Drawing and Painting in Athens, Greece, Sculpture at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris, France and received an MFA in Sculpture and Printmaking from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. During the last decade Amaryllis has taught a broad range of art classes and workshops including Book Arts. Currently she is teaching at Worcester State College. She has taught printmaking and book arts at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Hampshire College. In her personal artwork , she creates sculptures in bronze and terra cotta, prints and artist’s books. She has a strong record of national and international exhibitions and competitions.

Carrie St. John Wilson, Sum of Its Parts, etching & encaustic
Carrie St. John Wilson is an artist with over ten years experience in encaustic, printmaking and bookbinding. She received her BFA from the University of Michigan in 1994 where she discovered a love for printmaking. Carrie spent the next six months studying Japanese woodblock techniques in Kyoto, Japan. She is received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts in 2004 where she taught courses in drawing, design and printmaking. Her most current work combines drawing, encaustic, printmaking and bookbinding. Recent shows have taken place in New Hampshire, Savannah, Georgia and Massachusetts.

Diane Worth, Particle/Wave, collagraph
Diane Worth has been a printmaker for more than 20 years, studying at various schools and studios including the Museum School in Boston, Tokugenji Press in Nara, Japan, and Zea Mays Printmaking in Florence, MA. Her imagery is influenced by a Japanese aesthetic, and an interest in science and nature, particularly intriguing new theories in physics (she does not claim more than passing aquaintence with these theories, only inspiration). She works in drypoint, etching and collagraph mediums.

Mark Zunino, Bottle, etching
Mark Zunino is a Printmaker/Painter who works as the Technical Assistant for the Smith College Studio Art Department. He received his BFA from the University of Hartford’s Hartford Art School, and his MFA in Printmaking from the University of Massachusetts. He has taught Drawing and Printmaking at the Hartford Art School, UMASS, Amherst, Smith College, Zea Mays Printmaking and Lyme Academy of Fine Arts. Mark has exhibited his prints and paintings in many national exhibitions and is currently represented by Sherry French Gallery in New York City and Wm. Baczek Fine Arts in Northampton MA. Mark is an innovator in his field and has presented printmaking demonstrations at the Southern Graphics Council, Tamarind Institute of Lithography, and Rhode Island School of Design, among others.

Colophon and Credits

This portfolio celebrating the first four years of Zea Mays Printmaking is severely limited to only twenty-five copies of which just seven are for sale.

The prints were hand pulled by the artists on papers of their own choosing.

The typography and letterpress printing was carried out by Michael Russem at Kat Ran Press with Bembo types composed by Michael and Winifred Bixler.

The boxes were made by Meredith Broberg.

Ordering Information

The Nature of Things is available for purchase for $1800.

inquiries:  Liz Chalfin, Director
Zea Mays Printmaking
320 Riverside Drive
Florence, MA 01062
413.584.1783
liz@zeamaysprintmaking.com

Collections

The Nature of Things belongs to the following collections:

  • The Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA
  • The DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Garden, Lincoln, MA
  • The Boston Public Library, Boston, MA
  • The Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME
  • Zea Mays Printmaking Archives
  • Private collections

Essays

From: Notes on Zea Mays Printmaking by Liz Chalfin

The Nature of Things emerged out of a desire to commemorate the initial years of Zea Mays Printmaking. From its founding in September, 2000 to this moment in 2004, the studio has grown from a vision to a reality. The most profound manifestation of this is the amazing community of artists that have found a home of sorts at Zea Mays Printmaking. The fifteen artists invited to participate in this portfolio represents a range of artist sensibilities and backgrounds. And yet they all come together here, at Zea Mays. Some are studio regulars, those who spend time every week making prints at the studio. Others are guest artist faculty who come to teach from their passion. Others are workshop participants, practicing artists who find their way to the studio to learn a specific technique or approach. Many are all of the above, moving fluidly from artist to teacher to student and back to artist again. This is part of the beauty of Zea Mays Printmaking, where identities are fluid and artistic development is valued at all levels of one’s career.

From: Notes on The Nature of Things by Aprile Gallant, Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, Smith College Museum of Art

The Nature of Things contains fifteen prints by fifteen artists, all of whom have a relationship with Zea Mays Printmaking. The theme of the portfolio is purposefully vague: what are we to make of such an open-ended proposition? Yet, The Nature of Things does have its own, particular “nature:” a subtle rhythm of interlocking concerns that runs throughout individual works and binds them into a whole. Key among these is a preoccupation with the character that defines “things” as they exist in the world on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. The alphabetical arrangement of the portfolio only makes associations between prints more apparent, as relationships between successive works are unforced and the result of happy accident and the convergence of artistic styles and last names.