By Gavin Arucan | Staff Writer
On Friday, January 20, KCC’s Koa Art Gallery will be unveiling its first showcase of the year: Eclectica Inc. The showcase, which will run until March 3, features prints crafted by eight artists who work out of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.
The artists whose works are being featured are Jon Goebel, Liv Johnson, Jeri Nerona, Rann Sergeant, Leslie Samson-Tabakin, Kevin Diminyatz, Tobias Brill, and Lonny Tomono. They will all be attending the showcase from the reception at 4:30 P.M. on Friday to Saturday. Diminyatz and Brill will be demonstrating how to make a watercolor monoprint preceding the reception at 1:00 P.M. and Goebel will be demonstrating a printmaking technique known as multi-color intaglio from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. on Saturday, January 21. The exhibition and demonstrations are free and open to the public at Koa Gallery, which is located on the first floor of KCC’s Koa building.
Printmaking is the art of creating images and designs by printing them on paper, blocks, plates, and other mediums. There are various different techniques of printmaking, and several of them were used by the Eclectica Inc. printmakers for the showcase. Some of the artists combined different techniques and mediums to create unique styles.
Most of the prints shown are especially abstract and leaves a lot to the viewer’s imagination. The designs involve the viewer more as he or she is forced to decipher what the artist was thinking or feeling while working. One print in particular by Sergeant is filled with dozens of deranged characters. The print remains untitled, so the viewer doesn’t even get a clue into what the piece means. A viewer could stare at it for hours without figuring it out, and even if they do, they’ll take away a different meaning than the next person. Another print by Johnson, called “The Pompeiian Dog,” features an image of the petrified dog found in the ruins of Pompeii along with a word that could be interpreted as either “God” or “Dog.” The print is apply subtitled “Aibohphobia,” which is the fear of palindromes.
Gallery curator David Behlke finds the baffling pieces fascinating. “Contemporary art is so eclectic that anything goes,” says Behlke. “It’s up to you if you’re going to like it or not.”
Behlke’s favorite part of this exhibition is that it “shows the diversity of the kinds of different prints that are being made in the islands.”
The Koa Art Gallery is open on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.