Zea Mays Printmaking is participating (2020-21) in a collective global art project, Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss. Extraction is “a multimedia, multi-venue, cross-border art intervention that will investigate extractive industry in all of its forms from mining and drilling to the reckless exploitation of water, soil, trees, marine life, and other natural resources.”
The Zea Mays artist community will be part of an “international art ruckus” that tackles the problem of natural resource exploitation—its forms and its consequences, including its effect on art making and human life. Artists are being encouraged to use a spirited voice to speak their mind regarding political, social, and personal issues related to the overarching theme of Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss— “the suicidal consumption of the planet’s natural resources, which is the most pressing environmental issue of our time, encompassing all others, including climate change.”
Starting with Unlikely Materials Exchanges for Artists, we will repurpose, plunder, rescue, recycle, trade, and appropriate materials to inspire our community of artists who will create work for local and distant Green to the Extreme exhibitions. A full-throated response to the challenge of Extraction will include exhibitions, workshops and programming.
- Green to the Extreme at APE Gallery (Northampton. MA) in October 2020
- Rising Tides/Earth Afire at the Hosmer Gallery, Forbes Library (Northampton, MA) in December 2020
- Green to the Extreme at the University of Massachusetts Augusta Savage Gallery (Amherst, MA) in September 2021
- Unlikely Materials Exchanges on September 21, 2019 and February 2, 2020 (for Zea Mays Printmaking artist members)
- Open Community events including an Earth/Water/Sky Salon and Community Meet-Up, featuring guest speakers and teaching moments.
- Collaborations with Girls Inc, Holyoke and Northampton High School art students
- Canary in the Coal Mine Project – open to any interested artist
We are inviting any artist interested in collaborating with us to join in the Canary in the Coal Mine Project. How it works:
- $10 to participate
- We give you a used printing plate (copper, zinc, aluminum, wood)
- You select a bird from the Audubon Society’s list of 389 Bird Species on the brink of survival due to habitat loss from climate change and deforestation.
- You make an image of the bird you selected using the plate we give you,
- You print a small edition from the plate on any paper that is 8″ x 10″ (20 cm x 25.5 cm).
- You send us 5 prints from the plate and keep the rest.
- We include the prints in our Green to the Extreme exhibitions, create portfolios from selected prints and sell prints to raise funds to support our Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss programming.
- We all raise awareness about these threatened species.
Interested? Sign up here
We are programming many workshops during 2020 that deal with upcycling materials for use in printmaking.
Reading List – some books, articles, videos we’ve found interesting
- The Overstory by Richard Powers
- The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
- Waste by Katie O’Neill
- Under Ground: How Creatures of Mud and Dirt Shape Our World by Yvonne Baskin
- Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
- Tales from the Underground by David Wolfe
- Lines (57° 59′ N, 7° 16’W)— a breathtaking art installation in Scotland brings attention to projected sea-level rise
- Anthropocene – documentary film directed by Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal, Nick de Pecier.