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Shared Seas: Work by the MPC Printmakers

Post Date:10/31/2017 10:28 AM


Exhibit: November 3 - December 15, 2017

Reception: November 3, 7-9pm

Pacific Grove Art Center

565 Lighthouse Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA
(Open Wed-Sat, 12-5pm;, Sun 1-4pm)

In 2016 the SHARED SEAS project began as artistic exchange between the faculty and students of MTR, an upper secondary school in Olafsfjordur, Iceland, and the faculty and students of Monterey Peninsula College. Since its inception the project has grown to include artists of many nations.

Robynn_Smith_ClippersmalllThe sea is a call. It is the reason so many of us live in the Monterey Bay region. To work on the sea, play in the bay, be cooled by the ocean breezes. Once here, we cannot leave. We are connected through the water. The MPC Printmakers recognizing the relevance of the SHARED SEAS project to our area, wished to add our voices to this international artistic undertaking. Using the techniques of fine art printmaking we have explored the SHARED SEAS theme. 

For all living in coastal towns, the lure and mystery of the sea is always close at hand. So many sea towns share the phenomena of migratory fish visiting their waters and disappearing overnight. Both voluntary and forced, the seas are a place of migration not only for sea life, but for humans as well. The slave trade ruled the Atlantic once, now the Mediterranean Sea hosts the dreams and nightmares of millions of today’s migrant populations.

And then there are the fish, the kelp, the dolphins, the whales, the seals, the birds, the tidal footprints, the sky’s ever-changing reflection on the water. Visually, these things alone are rich enough to inspire any artist. Further interpretations of the SHARED SEAS theme and the varied printmaking approaches by artists of the MPC Printmakers has resulted in this thoughtful and exciting exhibition.

Lara Stephansdottir, photographer and headmistress of MTR muses “The ocean is a joint nature for all of us on the globe. We live on the borders between this vast tank of water with all the life in it, far from each other but yet so close. Our weather conditions in Iceland are often based on the weather in the Caribbean, the Gulf Stream and such. We have lived here based on the food we get from the sea. We supported armies in WWII with food, and we lost more people on the sea per capita during the war, than did Russia. Then there is the power of the sea, the energy, the colors, the reflections. In a way we are touching an “Other World” that is not hugely researched. It is a world of the unknown, nature, shapes, colors etc. It is a vital part of our lives, those of us who live by the sea.”

Sue_Gilchrist_Devonian_Sea-smallSHARED SEAS affords an opportunity to view work representative of the latest developments in the art of contemporary printmaking. With images ranging from the abstract to the familiar, participating artists have created works that are technically astute, beautiful and thought-provoking. Using traditional and experimental techniques, prints in this exhibit include etchings, woodcuts, screenprints, monotypes, monoprints, collagraphs and mixed media prints. Each original print stands as a testament to the commitment of the individual artist to realize their unique vision through the technically challenging discipline of printmaking.

Since 2006 members of the MPC Printmakers have been producing work at the cutting-edge of fine art printmaking. Club artists have been at the forefront of the movement away from toxic methods traditionally employed in printmaking, and toward the use of nontoxic materials and processes. These advancements have often been devised by its own members –spreading both nationally and worldwide. So too, imagery and format experimentation has been a key concern of artist members as they explore current trends in printmaking.   

The MPC Printmakers is an association of over ninety established and emerging artists supported by the Monterey Peninsula College Inter Club Council. Under the leadership of faculty advisor Robynn Smith, the club’s goal is to provide a forum where printmaking ideas can be shared with one another and the larger community. Membership is free and open to all fine art printmakers. For more information visit

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