Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Yes, Printmakers Are Working in Alaska!

Happy New year to all the little printmakers out there. I'm hoping everyone's been keeping things 'inked up' over the holidays.

On one of my fact-finding missions to bring the global spectrum of print-making ever closer and closer, I became curious about what goes on in the upper stretches of the US, and to my pleasant surprise I found someone's work that is piqued my interest, so today's entry will introduce the work of Sara Tabbert.

Tabbert is living, working and making prints in Fairbanks, Alaska. While Tabbert is originally from Alaska, that seems quite a hard place to be making artwork after having come from the Midwest (Nebraska and Iowa, respectively), but as anyone working in northerly environs knows, you can make prints anywhere and anytime.)

Tabbert's images have a largess about them, while seeming to be about observations of small, almost intimate aspects of the landscape. This piece, called "Surface"(above), would seem to be about air bubbles trapped underneath ice.  The muted, subtle colors that Tabbert uses help emphasize that idea. One cannot tell, however, if we are above or below the ice being presented here, but we hope it is the former.

Her related works also deal with nature and things found therein; fur, blood, water, ice, and divisions in the open landscape like this piece called "Coil"(above). It speaks about a place somewhat forlorn, where the coil fence has been let go, and man has given up his claim upon the land. The fence no longer divides property, but allows nature to reclaim itself and the coiled fence proceeds to rust in its abandon. The billowing clouds rolling across the skies also emphasize the passing of time, and a return to some peaceful coexistence.

Tabbert understands her images well, and her work shows her fascination with simpler forms found in Nature. Her period of study at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, can only have been an insightful time studying with the renowned Karen Kunc, whose own images harken to an intimate understanding of integrated natural form with sumptuous color. Yet Tabbert's own sensibility for graduated layers of muted colors is quite appealing, and they rest pleasingly with the viewer. She is making things happen in Alaska, folks, and is keeping abreast of things going on elsewhere outside what we might perceive as an isolated studio environment. For those of us brave enough to take a jaunt up there, we may find a refreshingly inspiring refuge to work amongst the moose and caribou. More about Sara's work can be found at http://www.saratabbert.com


  1. I really like this work, it has nice use of colour, texture and composition :) Thanks for sharing the link!


  2. Hello, Printmakers
    Corvidae Press is pleased to announce The Printmaker’s Hand III and would like to invite you to view the prospectus available Feb. 1 and submit your entry at http:www.onlinejuriedshows.com/Default.aspx?OJSID=407
    The juror, Sam Davidson, is the owner and director of Davidson Galleries, a premier Seattle gallery featuring antique and contemporary prints since 1973.
    Hope to see your work in Port Townsend, Washington in 2015!
    Contacts: Ann Treacy ptaddress@gmail.com or Debra Brochin dbrochin@msn.com