Wildling Museum exhibition features printmakers
Nature as a place of solace and beauty where growth and change can seem intimate or expansive is a recurring theme in “Close to Home: Three Printmakers,” an exhibition that will be on view from Saturday through February 2022 in the Valley Oak gallery at the Wildling Museum of Art & Nature in Solvang.
Featured artists are Claudia Borfiga, Karen Schroeder and Sara Woodburn, who will greet the public at a reception from 3 to 5 p.m. Oct.17 at the museum, 1511-B Mission Drive.
For this exhibition, Ms. Borfiga was inspired by new landscapes and plants, “capturing her joyfulness” in places like Ganna Walska Lotusland, the Carrizo Plain National Monument and Joshua Tree and Sequoia national parks.
“These new works also mark a transition in my process,” said Ms. Borfiga. “After many years making screen prints using stencil exposure, I’ve recently been exploring mono screen printing, something that feels closer to drawing or painting, freeing me to be more gestural, impulsive and playful. These prints capture an environment I’m in constant awe of.”
Ms. Borfiga is a California-based artist specializing in screen printing, a medium that she enjoys for the technical boundaries it presents, as well as the physicality of pulling prints.
“Through my work, I feel compelled to communicate and amplify the sensations I feel when exploring the wonders of the natural world. As a teaching artist, I use my screen print workshops as a wide-ranging platform to foster community as a means to explore trauma and for the simple joy of getting other peoples’ hands messy,” said Ms. Borfiga, who grew up in the suburbs of London and studied textile design at Loughborough University.
“My affection for traditional textiles can be seen in my prints, with elements bursting across the page, forming patterns or pathways to be discovered. In celebrating the treasures found in natural environments, I hope to foster a deeper appreciation for them.”
For Ms. Schroeder, her work allows her to become a narrator through her series of new woodblock prints.
“My story is one of connections, a binding thread between humans and the natural world. My prints are a graphic story, a personal vision of the natural world and one I love to share,” she said.
“My early travels to Central America, Mexico, Australia and South Africa instilled in me a love of culture and the natural world. Nature is a constant theme in my prints,” said Ms. Schroeder. “The woodcut is a way for me to share a visual story, a look through a new lens. My goal is to create an image that the viewer would like to enter, a unique environment that welcomes you.”
The artist shows regularly at galleries on the Central Coast and is a member of the Santa Barbara Printmakers, California Society of Printmakers, Goleta Valley Art Association, Santa Barbara Art Association and Carpinteria Arts Center.
She has exhibited her work in solo shows in Santa Barbara at Faulkner Gallery East in the Central Library and Gallery 113. In 2012, she won Best of Show at the Channing Peake Gallery, sponsored by the Santa Barbara Arts Commission.
More recently, Ms. Schroeder’s work was highlighted in Montecito Magazine’s 2020 summer-fall issue as the cover artist. She continues to teach art to adults, giving workshops on white-line woodcuts.
“Sharing my love of art with others gives me great joy,” she said.
Ms. Woodburn will present a year-long series of monthly “Quarantine Garden” woodblock prints capturing the changes and visitors to her backyard garden in Santa Barbara as she narrowed her daily attention, waiting for a return to “normal” over the last year and a half.
“The waiting for a return to a ‘normal’ life is palpable, but bringing my attention to what is right outside and taking notice is beautiful and satisfying,” said Ms. Woodburn, a native of Long Beach who studied textile, graphic and costume design at UC Davis.
She studied yuzen, a kimono dyeing process, in Tokyo and started a hand-dyed textile and one-of-a-kind clothing business, Sara McCook Textiles, in the San Francisco Bay Area, later moving it to Santa Fe.
In New Mexico, Ms. Woodburn was a frequent artist-in-residence, teaching students textile printing in communities all over the state. She earned an education credential at the University of New Mexico and was an educator in New Mexico and California for many years.
In 2012 and 2016, the artist was awarded scholarships to attend the prestigious Anderson Ranch Art Center in Colorado to study mokuhanga, the centuries-old Japanese woodblock printing method with the master printmaker, Hiroki Morinoue, and reduction woodcut with Jean Gumpper. Her work has been shown at the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara, Marcia Burtt Gallery, Sullivan Goss Gallery and Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum and in Solvang at the Wildling Museum and Elverhoj Museum.
Her collaborative series on climate change is currently on view at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara. In 2019, Ms. Woodburn participated in a series of collaborative silkscreen workshops called “Print Power” for survivors of domestic violence.
She is a member of the California Society of Printmakers, Santa Barbara Printmakers and part of the Santa Barbara Mesa Artists Studio Tour.
The three artists each provide distinct perspectives on the art of printmaking. Also included in the exhibition will be a display of the different tools used in their individual printmaking processes as well as insight into how different style prints are created.