Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Member News-Christina Altfeld

Christina Altfeld won Best in Show 
in the  Buenaventura Art Association's 
30th annual open competition. 
Christina was juried by Katherine Chang Liu.  
"Volubilis" is a multicolor polymer etching.

See the work in person during:
Ventura First Friday Gallery Crawl
Friday February 5

Buenaventura Gallery 
700 E. Santa Clara Street
Ventura, CA 93001
Open Tuesday-Saturday 11-5pm

And see the article in the Ventura Star HERE

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Poets Respond

The Santa Barbara Printmakers’ 22nd Annual Juried Exhibition provides a unique opportunity to the Santa Barbara community to view and learn about fine art printmaking today. Artists throughout California were invited to submit up to three works for the exhibition.
As part of the programming around the Printmakers' exhibition, the Poets Respond to Prints event will take place during 1st Thursday Jan. 7, 2016, from 5-8 p.m, with the reading beginning promptly at 6 p.m. in the Planning Commission Hearing Room adjacent to Channing Peake Gallery in the Santa Barbara County Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu Street.
The event is moderated by co-curators Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Sojourner Kincaid Rolle and Linda Saccoccio.
Other participating poets include Santa Barbara Poets Laureate Emeriti Perie Longo, David Starkey and Chryss Yost; Rhode Island Poet Laureate Rick Benjamin; Ron Alexander; Susan Chiavelli; Carol DeCanio; Richard Jarrette; Enid Osborn; Emma Trelles and George Yatchisin.
Starry Abyss by Bay Hallowell
The poets were inspired by prints created by artists using a variety of techniques, such as woodblock printing, photopolymer etching, viscosity monoprints and chine-collé.
Poets responded to artworks by Tony Askew, Cody Cambell, Rosemarie Gebhart, Colleen Kelly, David Graves, Bay Hallowell, Patricia Post, Karen Schroeder, Garrett Speirs, Nina Ward, Sara Woodburn and Don Zimmerman.
“Santa Barbara poets have an honored tradition of creating ekphrastic poetry inspired by the work of visual artists," Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Rolle said. "We are honored to be invited by the group to interact with their work. This symbiosis of words and images offers an expanded interpretation of the individual works for both the printmaker and the poet.” 
For more information on the Santa Barbara Printmakers, please contact Bay Hallowell at
For information on Channing Peake exhibitions and 1st Thursday events in the gallery, please contact the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission at 805.568.3990 or online at
— Elizabeth Hallowell represents the Santa Barbara Arts Commission.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

VC Reporter- Inkspots Article

Fine print

The Inkspots explore the fine art of the printing press

Air of a Stranger
Monoprint and Chine Collé,
12 x 12 by Virginia Furmanski
“There’s something magic when you pull back that paper — you never know what you’ll get,” says Virginia “Ginny” Furmanski, describing the appeal of the printing press. A machine associated with bookmaking and the Gutenberg Bible and credited with bringing modernity to medieval times may not, at first glance, seem like a tool for visual artistic expression. But the fine-art printmakers that form the artists’ collective known as the Inkspots have harnessed its unique properties to create textured, multilayered and, sometimes, multimedia compositions.

Printmaking covers a lot of territory. There’s relief, whereby a plate or other medium is carved so that the flat surfaces are inked. Woodcuts, the oldest printmaking technique, are created by carving an image into wood. Linocuts are the same as woodcuts, but made with linoleum (valued for its softness and more fluid lines). There’s also etching, engraving, drypoint; the list goes on. “There’s some confusion about the technical aspect of it,” Inkspots member Bay Hallowell admits. “People confuse a print with something mass produced,” Furmanski adds.

The works coming out of the Inkspots’ studio are anything but. Daring compositions, intricate carvings, mixing photography, drawing, painting, watercolor and text to create a single printed image — magical indeed — and interdisciplinary: different techniques and mediums are tools of the trade. Furmanski and Hallowell both appreciate the way the art form merges technical troubleshooting with creative inspiration. “It’s very intellectual,” Furmanski attests. “You have to think in reverse, a lot.” Hallowell adds that “there are a lot of things to adjust and figure out — which is why it’s so fun!”

And, in the world of fine art, affordable. A limited-edition print or even a single monotype will generally cost much less than a painting — think hundreds rather than thousands of dollars — making it more accessible. “It’s on paper, and more affordable, which I think makes art more democratic,” Hallowell explains.

The collective got its start in 2006, a few years after Furmanski moved to Ventura from Manhattan Beach. A retired art therapist, she was itching to create art for its own sake. “On a whim I bought a printing press and put it in the garage,” she recalls. She took classes and got to know other artists in the area, including Betsy Quinn, Judy Gibbs and Karen Brown, who were part of a group called the Odyssey Art League. The four artists banded together to find a studio for fine-art printmaking. The Inkspots officially opened their doors at the Sea Breeze Gallery in 2007 then moved to their current location on Ventura Avenue in 2011. (They share the space with Furmanski’s son, Matthew, an artist in his own right who teaches at California State University Channel Islands.) The collective, which this year boasts 13 members, was spotlighted by Focus on the Masters earlier this month.

Inkspots membership is somewhat fluid. “People come and go,” Furmanski explains. “And they come back. We ask them to commit to a year.” Artists pay a fee for use of the space, equipment and materials (They supply their own paper) and share the various duties, such as chairing quarterly meetings or organizing projects. Members are quite active individually, but come together once a year to do a show. This year’s exhibition, Inklings, runs through Dec. 19.

“I enjoy the synergy of the group,” Hallowell says of her artistic community. “We’re all very different; we have different messages and moods in our art. It’s very stimulating.” Furmanski appreciates having a community in which to create her art. “I just think everyone is very supportive,” she says. “There’s not a lot of jealousy. We’re not competitive — we’re collaborative. We teach each other, and inspire each other.”

When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1400s, he imagined it as a tool for disseminating information, not creative expression. The printmakers that make up the Inkspots have managed to do both. With their annual exhibition up on the walls, now is a great time to explore this age-old, ever-changing technique.

Inklings through Dec. 19 at 643 A Project Space, 643 Ventura Ave., Ventura. For more information, go to or email

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

Focus on the Masters Discussion

Organized by Mary Galbraith of Focus On The Masters
The Spotlight interview featured the inkspots, our collective made up of area printmakers. 
Member Virginia Furmanski was joined by Bay Hallowell and Inés Monguió in a panel discussion led by Dr. Judy Larson. 
It was a lively and interesting night that explained the many nuances of printmaking to the crowd in attendance.
The Focus on the Masters afterglow followed at Project 643

Opening night of Inkling 2015

Click on any image for a larger view