Festivals and Events
Exploring the Midwest through Woodblock Printmaking

Dates: Now - May 23, 2017
Times: Mar: 9am-4pm; Apr/May: 9am-5:30pm
Category: Visual Arts
Location: Lost Valley Visitor Center, Glacial Park, Rt. 31 & Harts Rd, Ringwood, IL 60072
Phone: 815.678.4532   Visit Our Website    Visit Us on FaceBook

Exploring the Midwest through Woodblock Printmaking
**Artist reception** Sunday, April 2, 13 p.m.

Growing up near a state park in northern Illinois fed Alfred Starks love of nature from a very early age. Then and now, his favorite way to spend the day is hiking in the woods, exploring the prairie, or paddling one of our many small lakes and riversthese are places where he finds inspiration.

About twelve years ago Alfred discovered Japanese Woodblock Printmaking, also known as Moku Hanga (wood print). He was instantly drawn to this technique, as it neither requires a large printing press or smelly solvents. Instead, his press is a small, flat disc known as a Japanese disc baren which pulls the print by carefully rubbing the back of paper which has been placed over an inked wood block. All of his inks, whether vegetable oil based or water based, clean up with soap and water, which is better for the artist as well as the environment. What visitors will see in the exhibit is a mix of Moku Hanga and Western printmaking techniques. All pieces are hand carved with traditional Japanese and German carving tools.

Through woodblock printmaking Stark is able to document his love of nature and share it with anyone who might be interested, hoping that they, too, will want to spend more time outdoors. Woodblock printing allows this artist to pare down the natural world to what he finds essentially beautiful about it.

Stark holds a Bachelors degree in Fine Art from Northern Illinois University and his work has been featured in regional, national and international shows. His prints can be seen year round at the Longbranch Gallery in Mineral Point, Wisconsin and the Woodwalk Gallery in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. More of his work can be viewed at alfredstark.etsy.com.

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