Ohio Wesleyan’s Ross Art Museum Presents ‘Tamarind Touchstones’

Exhibition of 61 Prints Celebrates 50 Years of Fine Art Lithography

Artist Jim Dine’s ‘Double Dose of Color,’ created in 2009, is one of 61 lithographs on display through Dec. 20 at Ohio Wesleyan University’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum as part of the ‘Tamarind Touchstones’ exhibit.

DELAWARE, Ohio – Now through Dec. 20, Ohio Wesleyan University’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum will be filled with an “extravagant sampler” of lithography representing 50 years of prints created by artists through the Tamarind Institute and its predecessor, the Tamarind Lithography Workshop.

The “Tamarind Touchstones: Fabulous at Fifty” exhibit premiered in 2010 and has been drawing art admirers at venues across the country ever since. The Ohio Wesleyan showing – the only Ohio venue for the exhibit – features 61 lithographs including works by Josef Albers, Philip Guston, Ed Ruscha, and Kiki Smith.

Bill Lagattuta, master printer at the Tamarind Institute, will conduct a gallery talk in the museum’s galleries at 3:15 p.m. Oct. 25. Lagattuta will discuss the printing techniques used for many of the lithographs currently on display at the museum and the working relationships he had with the Tamarind artists.

In addition to the “Tamarind Touchstones” lithographs, the Ross Art Museum also is exhibiting several prints from the museum’s permanent collection. All of these prints were made at Tamarind Institute and added to the museum’s permanent collection within the past couple of years.

Lithographs are prints created by using a press to transfer images created on smooth stones or metal plates to paper. They differ from etched or otherwise engraved artworks in that the images result from a chemically treated flat surface. The artist’s drawing is created with grease crayons or similar materials that attract ink. The stone surface is kept wet during printing to prevent ink from sticking to blank areas. Each color in a lithograph typically requires a separate plate.

An accompanying “Tamarind Touchstones” book also was created in observance of the organization’s half-century celebration. The Tamarind Lithography Workshop, founded in 1960 in Los Angeles, Calif., was created to “rescue” and recognize the dying art of lithography. After 10 years, it moved to Albuquerque, N.M., where it became the Tamarind Institute, a division of the College of Fine Arts of the University of New Mexico.

In the book, the publisher notes: “Fifty years and many thousands of prints later, it is difficult to imagine what lithography in the United States would be without the influence of the renowned Tamarind. Showcasing the broad aesthetic capabilities of lithography, Tamarind Touchstones demonstrates the diversity of the artists who have embraced lithography and their increased facility and comfort with the medium.”

During the academic year, Ohio Wesleyan’s Ross Art Museum, 60 S. Sandusky St., Delaware, is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is fully handicap-accessible and admission is always free.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities. Ohio Wesleyan offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. OWU combines an internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that connect classroom theory with real-world practice. Located in Delaware, Ohio, OWU’s 1,850 students represent 41 states and 45 countries. The university is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, and included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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