Banner image:ÌıââOnward and Upward (installation view), CU Art Museum, Sept. 6, 2022âJuly 2023. (Credit: Wes Magyar, Â© CU Art Museum)
Open now through July 2023
TuesdayâSaturday,Ìı10 a.m.â4 p.m.
CU Art Museum, free admission
Come celebrate the CU Art Museumâs newest exhibition with breakfast, music and fun. Create your own art, and meet Bud and Barbara Shark, exhibit curator Hope Saska, and local artists in the show. The event is free and open to the public.Ìı
Saturday, Sept. 10
CU Art Museum
After a delay in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CU Art Museum is opening a colorful and engaging exhibition showcasing one of the most comprehensive printmaking collections in the country: .Ìı
This massive collection, produced by Bud Shark of Sharkâs Ink printmaking studio in Lyons, was acquired by the university in 2018. Selections from the Sharkive featured in the show tell the story of the Sharkâs studio and the many famous artists they worked with, visualize the process of printmaking and celebrate the variety of artistic visions brought to life through many layers of carefully applied ink.Ìı
âTo have this collection at CU is really wonderful because it recognizes the way CU fits into the art community of Boulder," said Hope Saska, exhibition curator and chief curator and director of academic engagement at the CU Art Museum. âAnd because of the range of materials in the Sharkive, there's just tremendous educational value.âÌı
Bright colors, distinctive textures and playful narratives will greet viewers as they explore the exhibition. The exhibit features the work of 30 artists through 33 prints on display utilizing a variety of printmaking techniquesâfrom lithography to woodcutsâin addition to multimedia collage work, the Sharkâs guest books and various tools of the trade.
On Sept. 10, the public is invited to an open house breakfast with music, artmakingÌıand the chance to mingle with Bud and Barbara Shark and local artists who have work on display in the show. Saska also encourages visitors to return for several additional public events to take place this fall in the galleries, highlighting local printmakers.
âIt has been an exhibition occupying my thoughts since we acquired it in 2018,â Saska said. âWe have been working for quite a while on it,Ìıso it's thrilling to finally be able to share it.âÌı
Process and peopleÌı
In the simplest of terms, prints are images that are reproduced, usually on a printing press, according to Saska. In the case of an original print, many of which are featured in the show, only about 30 to 50 prints of an artwork are ever produced through a collaboration between artist and printmaker. Ìı
Viewers will notice a core of artworks in the middle of the gallery that highlight processes of printmaking. These works, by artists Jane Hammond, Hiroki Morinoue, Barbara Takenaga, Red Grooms, Enrique Chagoya and Hung Liu, showcase the materials involved, and how the different layers of line and color build up to form a final image.
In addition, a video in the back gallery shows part of the process in motion as Bud Shark applies a layer of red ink to a printâthe final version of which hangs next to the screen.Ìı
Master printer Bud Shark founded Sharkâs Lithography in downtown Boulder in 1976 with his wife and fellow artist, Barbara. Sharkâs Ink, which relocated to Lyons in 1998, would become not only a celebrated Colorado printmaking studioÌıbut a destination as one of Americaâs premier printmaking studios, as the art form experienced a renaissance in the last quarter of the 20th century. Shark has collaborated with more than 150 artists and produced hundreds of editions and thousands of prints over the past 46 years.Ìı
âWe think about Bud Shark as an artist and a printmaker, but heâs also really masterful at building relationships with other artists and thinking about finding the right kind of combination of people to work with. He's super curious and inventive,â said Saska. âSharkâs Ink is beloved by the local art community, but they're also beloved and valued by the larger national and even international art community.â
In 2018, the CU Art Museum acquired the signed archival impression of every original Sharkâs Ink print, a complete Sharkâs Ink collection dubbed the âSharkive.â These 750 original artworks, more than 2,000 related materials and all future works comprised a nearly $1.35 million acquisition, one of the universityâs biggest art purchases to date.
Museum Director Sandra Firmin described it as âone of the most intact, comprehensive collections of its kind.â
Prints made in collaboration with Sharkâs Ink are held by numerous private and public collections from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to the Art Institute of Chicago. But now, many of them are finally on display close to where they were created.Ìı