By: Alexis Granwell (Instructor, CE + Pre-College)
This past year, I was awarded a two-person show at Lawndale Art Center in Houston, Texas, as well as a Continuing Studies Faculty Enrichment Grant. With the grant support I received, I was able to attend two artist residencies in preparation for the show at Lawndale. The first was Ragdale Artist Residency in Lake Forest, Ill., where I experimented with constructions for my new sculptures. The final pieces are primarily made out of Abaca, wire and wood. Following this trip, I spent the rest of the summer creating oversized etching plates that ranged in size from five to six feet. I also spent the summer making sheets of large handmade paper. The texture of the paper became an integral part of my printing process for this series.
In August, I traveled up to AS220 in Providence, R.I., where I printed for three weeks. AS220 is the home of one of the world’s largest etching presses (a ten footer). I was fortunate enough to be one of the first artists to ever use this press. It was really incredible to be able to print at such a large scale especially after working on the plates for so many months without being able to make a proof.
The last stop of this tour was Houston, Texas, where I installed my show Ballast/Break which opened Nov 19th. This show exhibits both the sculptures and large works on paper. This project would not have been possible without the generous support from the Continuing Studies Faculty Enrichment Grant that I received. I hope you enjoy the photos!
Press Release for Ballast/Break:
Ballast/Break is an exhibition of prints, sculpture and installation work by Alexis Granwell and Carrie Scanga. The work is based on the forms, structures, conduits and patinas of cityscapes and the human-built environment. Granwell delves into the city’s grit and substance by incorporating handmade paper, found objects and raw materials to create sculptures that evoke primitive architecture or landscapes under construction. Her oversized etchings depict similar forms that contain both a physicality and a diagrammatic quality, while Scanga’s massive, apparently floating structure of paper bricks subverts this materiality.