I have always been passionate about print making and am always intrigued to see how the process has been used throughout the centuries. Artists have consistently shown ingenuity and craftsmanship under trying conditions, working with, modifying and inventing techniques for traditional print processes. Colorado’s dramatic landscape was and continues to be a magnet for artists, each striving to express and interpret their inspiration.
The seeds for the exhibit were planted in January 2015 as I was traveling through Denver International Airport. As a volunteer for the Month of Printmaking event scheduled for March 2016, I was constantly on the hunt for ways to promote the month long event. The Community Glass Cases by the new Westin Hotel seemed such a wonderful opportunity to promote and develop awareness of the long history printmaking has had in Colorado.
The six glass cabinets give a brief summary of printmaking in Colorado over the past century, describing the contributions made by various institutions and individuals. Located at the well traveled southeast corner of baggage claim area, each glass cabinet is divided into two displays by an interior plexi panel. Each of the twelve panels focuses on a decade, highlighting two or three printmakers for that decade.
The exhibit begins with a print from the Hayden Geological Survey, 1870, which charted the Rocky Mountain peaks of Colorado. Then to George Elbert Burr and Dean Babcock, both greatly influencing the arts on Colorado. The depression era is represented by Harold Keeler, William Traher and Gordon Wilson who created woodblocks for the Colorado History Museum of life in Colorado as part of the WPA. As the decades progress, the exhibit hi-lites Colorado printmakers Alfred Wands (serigraph), Lyman Bybe (etching), Vance Kirkland (lithograph) and Edward Marecak (woodblock). Visiting artists displayed are Birger Sandzen (relief prints), Toshi Yoshida (woodblock), Richardson Rome (letterpress) and Randell Davey (etching). Contemporary printmakers hi-lited will be David Parker (serigraph), Mark Lunning (Intaglio), Red Grooms (Lithograph) and Leon Loughridge (woodblock).
Sadly, space restricted how many artists could be featured. The many great historical and contemporary artists that were not featured are still an integral part of Colorado’s thriving arts community. The staff at the Arts and Culture Department of the Denver International Airport provide invaluable exposure and support to Colorado’s Arts Community.
Leon Loughridge Dry Creek Art Press, Denver, CO
The Gorge, An Editioned Book
1960 - 1970
Bruce Marsden (left) installing the hanging system for the plexi panels. After they were installed, Hans (right) cleaned the panels while I (below) made some final adjustments.