Political Prints

Photo by Mary Butkus.

WUSTL women printmakers exhibit at School of Law

Posted by Liam Otten, The Record December 10, 2009

Image: Artists (from left) Joan Hall, Lisa Bulawsky, and Bunny Burson admire Bulawsky's work The Lords of In-Between at the opening of the School of Law's art exhibit December 2 in Anheuser-Busch Hall.

Washington University is a big place, both metaphorically and physically. Last week, eight women printmakers, all faculty or alumni from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, sought to bridge some of that distance by installing a series of artworks in the School of Law's Anheuser-Busch Hall.

"This is really a wonderful collaboration," said curator Bunny Burson, a printmaking alumnus and member of the Sam Fox School's National Council, whose husband, Charles Burson, J.D., is a senior professor of practice at the law school. "It's a great way to let one end of campus know what the other end is doing."

Burson said that most of the works on view explore legal and/or political themes. For example, Maryanne Ellison Simmons, a 1992 MFA alumnus and a former city council member in Wildwood, Mo., contributed the print suite American Landscapes/Documentation Series: The Campaign, which reproduces a series of partisan pamphlets created during Wildwood's 2002 election.

Joan Hall, the Kenneth E. Hudson Professor of Art — and an experienced sailboat racer — contributes Crustacean Ball, a mixed-media work on handmade paper that reflects on the use and abuse of the world's oceans. Lisa Bulawsky, associate professor of art, contributes the satiric The Lords of In-Between.

Burson herself contributes a trio of darkly elegant monotypes, titled Stains 2, 3 and 4. From a distance, these appear to be simple black-and-white abstracts. Yet, as one draws closer, delicate lace patterns inspired by the graceful white ascots worn by former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor are detected.

Also featured are prints by alumni Yvette Drury Dubinsky (MFA90), Gina T. Alvarez (MFA02), and Kelda Martensen (MFA09).

Alvarez's contribution, a large woodcut-and-collage titled Minor Node, was printed by Amanda Verbeck, herself a 2001 alumnus and now master printer at St. Louis' Pele Prints.

"I wanted to select women representing a range of careers," Bunny Burson said. "Joan has taught at Washington University for three decades and is internationally known. Lisa, Maryanne, and Yvette are well-established printmakers, while Kelda, Gina, and Amanda all are recent graduates.

"All of them are making terrific work," Burson said. "It's a pleasure and an honor to highlight what they're doing."

The installation, which is located in the W.L. Hadley Griffin Student Commons, was made possible with the support and encouragement of Kent Syverud, J.D., dean of the School of Law and the Ethan A. H. Shepley University Professor; Ruth Chi-Fen Chen, Ph.D., professsor of practice in the School of Engineering & Applied Science; and Carmon Colangelo, dean of the Sam Fox School and the E. Desmond Lee Professor for Collaboration in the Arts.

All works will remain on view through the end of the spring semester. For more information, call 314.935.7567.