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William McMahan
Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts

Althea Murphy-Price
Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts

Last modified: Tuesday, April 28, 2009

IU printmakers to present "False Impressions" in vacant downtown store

April 28, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- From a blanket of hands descending upon a clay bust to an increasingly faded imprint in the sand, the work of four Indiana University graduate students in printmaking will be on display May 1 and 2 in a two-day exhibition titled "False Impressions." The exhibition opens Friday, May 1, at 8 p.m. in the vacant storefront adjacent to Rachael's Café (300 E. Third St., southeast corner of Third and Lincoln streets), and will be open for viewing Saturday, May 2, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The artists are all first- and second-year Master of Fine Arts candidates at IU's Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts: Andrew Brennan (Bachelor of Arts, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, 2006); Kristin Carlson (Bachelor of Fine Arts, photography, Rhode Island School of Design, 2003); Peter Janson (Bachelor of Science in fine arts, Skidmore College, 2008); and William McMahan, (Bachelor of Fine Arts, printmaking, Washington University in St. Louis, 2007).

The faculty adviser for "False Impressions" is Althea Murphy-Price, IU assistant professor of printmaking.

Self Portrait Installation 1

Photo by Peter Janson

"Self Portrait Installation" by Peter Janson.

Print-Quality Photo

"This exhibition first began as a graduate-level seminar focused on the trends and developments in contemporary printmaking," said Murphy-Price. "The participants of this show have each created art installations with a printmaker's sensibility. Many of the pieces re-invent traditional printmaking techniques by utilizing the space and distinctive materials."

McMahan said the work exhibited in "False Impressions" is inspired by the intersection of printmaking and installation art.

"As a whole, 'False Impressions' seeks to provide the viewer with an active, emotive art experience that transcends the passive act of viewing encouraged in traditional gallery settings," he said. "Each installation seeks to overwhelm, encompass or challenge, causing the viewer to re-evaluate the validity and power of the impressions caused by the art-viewing experience."

McMahan's piece involves a series of transparent hands extending from and "forming a blanket" around a clay bust. "The concept is based on my obsessive worrying," McMahan said of the "wormlike" hands making their way to the bust's head. Visitors can interact with Brennan's piece by rolling a wooden wheel through a long strip of sand; a riddle printed on the wheel will form an impression on the sand that becomes increasingly faint. Janson is working to create a figure-based installation in which the figures are stuffed with clothing and animal skulls, while Carlson's piece invites viewers to transform their gallery-going experience by donning a handmade, screenprinted party hat.

"Participants will be encouraged to wear the hats in my area of the exhibition, which has been decorated to suggest a party atmosphere, as well as in other areas of the exhibition," said Carlson. "Each hat is unique, numbered one through 100, and has a corresponding cupcake, which is edible. Participants can take their hats home with them at the end of the evening."

The installation space is made possible through a donation from N&N Enterprises LLC.

For more information about the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts, see