Late-night frequenters of the Hege-Cox building know him for his outgoing and sometimes boisterous personality, but Jack Arthur Wood is indeed a serious artist.
A senior thesis candidate in printmaking, Arthur is currently focusing on large woodcuts. He is mainly carving on MDF, a compressed cardboard particle board, and is primarily using the reduction process right now: “I’m carving the block I’m working on now in reduction, which is where you print in color from lightest to darkest, preserving sections of progressing colors as you go. It’s a lot of fun and probably easier than carving multiple blocks, but using the reduction process means that when you’re done you’re done, you can’t make anymore prints.” Arthur also delves into linoleum and etching from time to time, and still maintains his sketchbook. When asked why he now prefers a larger scale, he replied, “I suppose working on a big scale is part of my blind ambition and hunger for learning about printmaking. Also bigger art tends to close a gap between the viewer and the printed image.”
Arthur first became interested in printmaking at a young age, when his father started collecting British cycling posters. A documentary on Keith Haring he viewed as an adolescent also made quite an impression on him. Two strong influences on his current body of work are the Jack Kerouac poem San Francisco Blues Fragments and Ron English of Greensboro’s Main Street. “Ron’s a 70+ fixture of Main Street. He’s old, paranoid schizophrenic, smells bad, and used to smoke crack every day. He’s also a prolific artist making and selling his work on Main Street just about everyday for whatever he can get so he can go buy chicken and lottery tickets,” Arthur says.
Arthur is grateful to have Guilford’s art faculty at his disposal during this process. “I have to thank Roy and Kathryn especially, they have been far more than just the best teachers I could ever ask for.” We all look forward to each of the thesis students’ final presentations, and we wish them the best of luck.