HATTIESBURG -- An
exhibition to generate a greater understanding and appreciation
of the printmaking medium will be on display Oct. 8 through Nov.
6 at The University of Southern Mississippi's Museum of Art.
An opening reception for the Catfish Press National
Print Portfolio Exchange exhibition will be held from 4-6 p.m. Oct.
14 in the museum. Southern Miss art alumnus Drew Blancher will give
a lecture, hold a question/answer session, and demonstrate printmaking
in conjunction with the opening.
Linda Seckinger, professor of art at Mississippi State
University, established Catfish Press at MSU in 1988. The Catfish
Press Exchange evolved into a national print portfolio project involving
37 invited artists from across the United States.
Selection for project participation was based on the
artists' national exhibition records and inclusion in previous national
portfolio exchanges, as well as participation in international and
national museum and gallery collections.
"The Catfish Press Exchange is a wonderful sampling
of contemporary American printmaking," said Mark Rigsby, new
interim director of the Museum of Art at Southern Miss. "This
exhibition is a fine example of the diverse possibilities unique
to printmaking. From etching, engraving, and intaglio, to woodcut,
litho, serigraph, and digital collage, this show serves as an exploration
of the contemporary printmaking process."
Each participating artist produced a hand-printed
edition consisting of 41 individual impressions--meaning 41 individual
prints with the same image printed on each one. These prints were
sent to Seckinger at MSU for final portfolio assembly.
These artists also included four extra print impressions,
along with their original editions. The extra prints were used in
four additional print portfolios that will be submitted to national
and international museums with the hopes of being included in permanent
The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, the Huntsville
Museum of Art, the Ewing Gallery of Art and Architecture, the University
of Tennessee in Knoxville and the Bibliothéque Nationale
in Paris, France, have already accepted print portfolios for their
"We're really fortunate to have this national
print show come to Southern Miss as it includes some of the best
printmakers throughout the United States and shows a variety of
media," said Deanna Douglas, professor of art at Southern Miss.
"It was three years in the making to bring about this portfolio."
Douglas, who designed the colophon page and the catfish
logo for the portfolio, is considered a part of the larger project
for her contribution. "The colophon page is the title page,"
Douglas explained. "We actually had it printed the old-fashioned
way here in Hattiesburg because Geiger Printing still has an old
letterpress which requires the type to be set by hand.
"Because I knew Linda Seckinger when I taught
at (Mississippi) State, she asked me to help out. We even built
the crates for shipping the portfolios and put the frames together
for the exhibition. She has given seminars here at Southern Miss
in the Art Department and wanted to have the show made available
to our students."
From December 2003 through February 2004, the project
prints were on display at Lauren Rogers Museum. The show has also
traveled to Arizona State University, California State University,
the University of Texas at Austin, and Clemson University, and has
been on view at Mississippi State University.
"It will be a feast for the eyes with exciting
images and techniques," Douglas assured. "It's work like
this that gets both students and faculty fired up to do their own
The Museum of Art at Southern Miss is located in the
Fine Arts Building at the southwest corner of the campus. The hours
are Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m-5 p.m., and Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission
to the museum is free and open to the public. School and community
group tours are welcome.
For more information or an appointment, call (601)