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Bradbury Gallery presents 2008 Delta National Small Prints Exhibition

Jan. 9, 2008 -
- The opening reception for the 2008 Delta Nation"The Weight of the World," Janet Ballweg, Mary Ellen and Bob Warner Purchase Awardal Small Prints Exhibition will begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Bradbury Gallery, located in the Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro, on the campus of Arkansas State University. The exhibition promises to be as interesting as ever with an innovative, thought-provoking, and diverse set of work. The exhibition will run through Sunday, Feb. 17, and it is free and open to the public.

Artists from across the country have the opportunity to enter the competition, which is selected by a nationally known expert in the field of printmaking. In 2008, Marjorie Devon, the director of the renowned Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, N. M., made the selections.  Along with that significant task, she also determined which works would receive awards, including purchase prizes.

Devon commented that the prints submitted this year were of very high quality, making "Cypress Cove, Point Lobos," Aaron Johnson, Judd Hill Foundation Purchase Awardher job all the more challenging.  She stated, “Each medium offers the artist a unique expressive vocabulary although, while technique is important, it must be the means to an end and not an end in itself. A print reaches its full potential when that vocabulary gives voice to the artist’s imagination.  I was surprised, I confess, by the number of high quality images that did exactly this.”
"An Emperor and someone else's horse," Wayne Kimball, President's Purchase Award
The selection process is done without the juror knowing the artist’s name or address. Only the title, size of the print, and the type of print were known by Devon. Because of this, ASU is pleased to announce that two ASU students and one artist from Jonesboro will be featured in the exhibition.  An even greater honor is that both ASU students were also awarded purchase prizes.

Kelli Langston of Arbyrd, Mo., a graduate student in printmaking at ASU, will exhibit her print titled, “Let Go.” Her powerful and haunting work was awarded the Christy Brecklein and Kevin Reed Purchase Award.

Langston states, “My images originate from our everyday surroundings.  I continually look for things that tend to go unseen from simply being busy in our everyday routines. Using a photo-based intaglio process, I slightly distort the images to create a more linear design with minimal use of color. I enjoy working with structures that are neglected in the present but at one point in time were greatly needed, appreciated, and valued.” Langston’s work was also included in the previous Delta National Small Prints Exhibition.

Donna Smith, of Jonesboro, is currently a student at Rhodes College in Memphis. Her striking digital print “Sod II,” is included in the exhibition. In discussing this series, which is made of found materials, she says, “…I discover the actual piece of work itself through the process of making. This great uncovering of the work comes through placing the body, or assembling materials close in scale to the body, in a dream-like realm through video and photography. These processes assist my aim to create a sense of transcendence through imagery for the viewer.”

Smith continues, “The chance to express myself and to impact others has always been important in all aspects of my life. I think that art has allowed me to explore how I belong in the world through my evolving work in photography and video….The chance for me to be a part of the Delta National Small Prints Exhibition gives me the opportunity to see the great work of artists as well as to meet advocates of the arts from my hometown, which is a wonderful experience in itself.”  After graduation this May, she plans to pursue her studies in the media field.

Stephanie Sweeney, of Walnut Ridge, is also a graduate student in the ASU printmaking department. Her delicate, narrative work “Starlight” has received the Don A. Tilton Purchase Award, becoming a part of the ASU Permanent Collection of Art.

In discussing this print series, Sweeney says, “I explore decadence and the lure of that which is forbidden. Enticed by a world of dark glamour, I indulge my fantasies only in my art and hide the underlying decay beneath gay colors.” She states further, “Prints are my favorite medium.  I use relief printing and lithography to capture the whimsical quality of line. Reduction relief generates a variety of colors through layers; each layer slowly destroys the original carving, making it impossible to reproduce.”

A free full-color catalog of the entire exhibition will be available at the opening reception. Bradbury Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 2-5 p.m. on Sunday. For additional information, please contact Les Christensen, director, at the Bradbury Gallery at (870) 972-2567 or via e-mail at


Artworks from top:
"The Weight of the World," 2006
Four-color polymer intaglio
7.875 inches x 8.25 inches
Mary Ellen and Bob Warner Purchase Award
ASU Permanent Collection
Janet Ballweg

"Cypress Cove, Point Lobos," 2006
10.25 x 17 inches
Judd Hill Foundation Purchase Award
ASU Permanent Collection
Aaron Johnson

"An Emperor and someone else's horse,"2007
12 x 16.5 inches
President's Purchase Award
ASU Permanent Collection
Wayne Kimball

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