Transmogrify Print Portfolio Exchange

From Merriam-Webster:

trans·mog·ri·fied      trans·mog·ri·fy·ing

  1. transitive verb

    :  to change or alter greatly and often with grotesque or humorous effect

  2. intransitive verb

    :  to become transmogrified

It all started with the first email from Guilford alum Jack Arthur Wood ’12. He was calling upon fellow artists to share thoughts on a seedling of an idea: a cross-country, collaborative print exchange.

“The Transmogrify Print Portfolio Exchange is a do it yourself art effort with boisterous spirit, geared towards the world of fine art, in serious need of financial assistance,” typed Wood. “The portfolio began in Cincinnati and has gouged channels of artistic rallying as far away as Jacksonville, Florida, and Riom, France. Transmogrify is esteemed through a motley of attributes.”

So the next step: an Indiegogo page (kind of like Gofundme)☞  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/transmogrify-print-portfolio-exchange#/

 On Indiegogo, Wood described the collaborations as, “a nationwide dialogue involving a diverse group of printmakers; collectively creating a portfolio of BIG relief prints to achieve greater community.”

Pretty cool. But it wasn’t easy, the preliminary email went out nearly three years ago. The Transmogrify Print Exchange has been displayed elsewhere in the country, but it’s finally on display at the Center for Visual Artists in Downtown Greensboro. I’m telling you, this show was totally worth the wait. The result of this collaboration is a vast array of large-scale prints, each print a different take on the topic. Wood chose Transmogrify as he wanted the prompt to be purposefully open-ended. This allowed each artist to truly express themselves and respond in any way they chose, as long as the piece was A. “BIG” and B. a print. The artists who were chosen were also quite diverse in terms of gender, age, race and aesthetics. What a seriously fun and interactive way to build a virtual print community all over the country. There was work created all throughout the US, and even in France.

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“The Transmogrify Portfolio was endeavored as a conversation in relief printmaking and creative collaboration. The project was very much a learning process, an exercise in organization and fundraising. The portfolio features artists from all over the United States and France, each making a work centered around the idea of Transmogrification.”

So after hearing about the show through some friends who were involved and featured in it, I had to check it out for myself. I found that a few other Guilford folks were also involved in the exchange, our own art professor, Roy Nydorf, and alums John D Gall ’92, Alejo Salcedo ’15 and Raina Martens ’15. Check out some of their pieces below.

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(above) Eye to Eye, John D Gall // Roy Nydorf

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(above) Self Portrait, Alejo Salcedo, Linocut

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(above) Broody Summer, Raina Martens

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(above) Segregation and the Western Hill Viaduct, Jack Arthur Wood

The show was incredibly varied, each piece so unique to the next… Some artists took more literal stances as others went completely abstract. Some humorous, others dark. As I walked through the exhibit, I noticed that many of the artists chose to keep it classic, using solely black ink in their prints, while others used splashes of bright pigments such as red or yellow. There was a set of three pastel colored prints that really stood out to me against the dark content matter of the other prints. I definitely had a few favorites, but there were so many strong pieces to choose from. See more of my top picks from the show below.

(above) Loved this piece titled, Lunch, by Tyler Krasowski. The piece added a nice punch of color to the show and worked really well in large-scale.
(above) Another piece from Alejo, he actually had the most pieces in the show compared to other artists. This one is titled, Reductive Thinking.His full piece is on the far right, the left columns are macro detail shots.

I reached out to Alejo to ask him about his experience with the portfolio and here’s what he had to say:

“I feel honored to be involved in the transmogrify print portfolio exchange program.  Arthur gathered together a group of printmakers he knew and had each artist individually create a print. He wanted us to make enough prints for all of us to be able to own a copy of each other’s work. A few extra portfolios were made- one for the guilford college permanent collection and one that has been traveling (showing as far as France twice). When I sent my work away I had no idea what work I was going to get in return but could not turn down the opportunity to collaborate with such a diverse group of artists.”

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(above) Here are the pastel-colored prints I mentioned before. They are Untitled by Karen Sniquer. Acrylic on woodcut.

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(above) This piece felt so subtle yet so strong at the same time. I’m probably a little biased as I love color, especially muted palettes. I love the color palette used here. It’s titled, Building Better Blunder, and was made by Jon Irving.

Last but *definitely* not least…

(above) From left: Robble Hood, Jessi Hardesty. Troubled Man, Ricardo Rulz. Untitled, Derrick Riley.

I would love to feature every single print if I could, this exhibit was a show stopper. Oozing with raw talent. I’m excited to see how far this print exchange will be pushed. If you want to get involved, visit the exchange’s Indigogo link in the beginning of the post or simply spread the word! Questions and inquiries: woodja@guilford.edu

As always, Thanks for stopping by. ツ

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