12 Dec 2012, Posted by admin in Packages,Uncategorized, No Comments.
An artist’s passion for linoleum and woodcuts has inspired him to create a print-exchange program with the nation’s most famous printmakers.
Story by Jack Ellenberger, photo by Jordan Horras
Jack Arthur Wood Jr. is an artist. You can tell just by looking at him. As he zips and buttons his black leather biker jacket, trying to stop the Cincinnati cold, he speaks of ink and foreign places, liquor and women. And art. Art is in Wood’s blood. It propels him, and it has pushed him to start a print-exchange program with other wood and linoleum cutters, some of the best in the nation.
His love of printmaking and the ensuing idea for a print-exchange program started as a wild hair. Wood attended Guilford College in North Carolina. During his first semester he enrolled in a basic printmaking class, and from then on printmaking engulfed his life. After his graduation in the spring of 2012, Wood traveled to St. Louis for a printmaker’s boot camp, an intense 14 days of carving printing and drinking, put on by renowned printmaker and cultural icon Tom Huck. No sleep, too much alcohol and constant standing led to gout during the course of his stay, but the experience also stoked the fire building inside him for printmaking.
Wood moved back to his hometown of Cincinnati, where he now works drawing, carving and printing. For nearly five years, he has created multitudes of prints with subject matter as wild and detailed as the folds of his brain. He found Tiger Lilly Printing Press, a tiny firm that has presses nearly perfectly calibrated for printmaking, in the Price Hill neighborhood on the city’s west side. He now uses Tiger Lilly as his artistic headquarters. He graciously accepted the offer to be artist in residence at Tiger Lilly, and now uses the printmaking press more than ever.
His ambition every growing, Wood finds himself two months into the print-exchange program. The idea spawned after a rough patch for Wood. He planned to meet with a fellow printmaker for weeks, but the meeting was canceled at the last minute. In a fit of sadness and desperation, he sent out a long and in-depth email to about 40 artists, explaining his passion for the art, his ambition, and his wishes to further the printmaking world. To his surprise, he got dozens of responses. He then knew he would have to dive into creating his first major art project outside of college.
The print exchange will be a way for artists to share practices, to show their talents and to network. Wood sees the exchange’s cultural and artistic scope as further reaching than just printmaking circles. He has been in contact with artists throughout the country. He will travel in January 2013 to Amarillo, Texas, for an ink-slingers show, where he will spread the word of his print-exchange program. His ultimate goal is to have a traveling university showcase of all the printmakers’ portfolios, as well as corresponding punk rock shows at D.I.Y. venues.
Wood’s plans are just as his linoleum block prints – huge, detailed, daunting and important to the practice of woodcutting and printmaking. The print-exchange program is just one of the many projects he has in the works. The coming months will show the extent of his work and his passion for it.