Graphic art exhibit stops by OEC

The graphic art exhibit in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center was one of the stops on Friday’s seventh annual College Art Gallery Collaborative Fall Art Tour Friday. Chief curator Shelly Nordtorp-Madson said the exhibit was a great way to bring the St. Thomas community together.

“It takes a lot of work to make sure everything runs smoothly, but it’s fun,” Nordtorp-Madson said. “It’s about bringing everyone together and I really think this exhibit does that. “

St. Thomas, along with eight other colleges in the Twin Cities, held exhibits that highlighted different forms of printmaking. St. Thomas’ “Stop the Presses: Graphic Art in a New Light” featured artists with a Minnesota connection and focused on how the artists used a variety of techniques to translate an idea into print art.

Chris Nelson, an artist whose work was featured at St. Thomas, said that stencil work was his preferred form of print art, especially when depicting nature.

“Stencils can’t be too rigid about where the ink is going to end up, so the product is really organic and nature-like,” Nelson said. “I tend to start with organic shapes, which seem to contribute to the process. I’ve always been inspired by natural forms.”

Artist Faye Passow said she has been interested in lithography, the process of creating words or pictures on stone, since she was in college.

“When I was in college, there was a course called lithography that dealt with drawing on stones,” Passow said. “I had no idea what it was but I decided to try it and I realized that I enjoyed it. Lithography is not an easy printmaking method to do, but the results create a nice tone.”

Augsburg College, Bethel University, the College of Visual Arts, Concordia University, Macalester College, Northwestern College, St. Catherine University and the University of Minnesota all had exhibits that featured different forms of print art.

Augsburg’s exhibit highlighted the work of printmaker Jerald Krepps. His art is based on the idea that the world is always changing, and he portrays that through the use of different lighting. Bethel’s exhibition featured printmaking artists who use communication and media for inspiration.

Shuttle buses were provided so everyone could attend each college’s portion of the event. Although the crowd did not consist of many St. Thomas students, professional artists and students from participating schools attended the tour.

St. Thomas Undergraduate and Exhibition Program Manager Sue Focke said the event was a success overall.

“This was a major collaboration between colleges and a lot of people put in a lot of effort,” Focke said. “So many people played a part in the exhibit in terms of PR and organizing, so it’s been wonderful.”

“Stop the Presses: Graphic Art in a New Light” will be on display in the lobby of the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center until November 11.

Cynthia Johnson can be reached at