The University of Montevallo welcomes an artist in residence
Posted 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 26, 2022
By SASHA JOHNS | Special for the journalist
MONTEVALLO – This summer, the University of Montevallo is hosting its first artist-in-residence program. Three Montevallo alumni – Lindsay Dyess, Justin Banger and Erica VP Lewis – have been chosen to be part of the Stephens Printmaking Fellowship which is to pilot an annual program.
After the university contacted these graduates to participate in the pilot program, each artist offered what they needed for their projects in terms of supplies and assistance. They each had a month of studio time to work on their different print collections, each using a different method.
Dyess worked in relief engraving with designs she carved into linoleum blocks. Banger created prints using an old method called intaglio printing which was used to print illustrations in books, which is the opposite of relief and uses copper plates. Lewis created large format prints also using an embossed technique.
We were given the supplies we needed and we were able to do whatever work we wanted to do as long as it was printmaking,” Dyess said of some of the benefits of working in residence at the school. . “I had time in the studio and I had an assistant. I was able to use their presses which I don’t have at home, so that was good.
She said the value of having that space and time to have creative freedom and to be around other artists has helped her focus in ways she couldn’t have at home.
She also said it gave her the opportunity to mentor another artist by working with her assistant, also named Erika Lewis, not to be confused with Erica VP Lewis, who is one of the other partner artists.
Dyess worked by creating an image on a block of linoleum that she and her assistant carved with gouges. Once the drawing is created, she applies ink and unrolls it with the presses available at the school. Having created most of the prints by hand, the rollers allowed him to apply even pressure to create a more cohesive end product. With her blocks, she is able to create a series in a specific color scheme, allowing her to create another edition of prints later.
“I like images that tell a story,” says Dyess. “I am inspired by fairy tales and fictional stories.”
This can be seen in one of her first edition prints that she created which resembles a giant whimsical butterfly.
All of Dyess’s work, along with the work of other fellows in the program, is now on display at the Bloch Hall Gallery at the University of Montevallo. There will be a special reception in the gallery and an artist talk in Bloch Hall on Thursday, September 1 from 4 to 6 p.m. It’s free and open to the public.