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Out of storage, into show: DSU art gallery displays prints from repository

Intaglio print in the Mind's Eye Art Gallery's upcoming show, Fine Art Prints from the DSU Collection. (Kayla Henson / The Dickinson Press)1 / 2
Relief prints in DSU's upcoming show, Fine Art Prints from the DSU Collection. (Kayla Henson / The Dickinson Press)2 / 2

Ian Mabry, the new director of the Dickinson State University Art Gallery, inherited the former director's gallery schedule with one problem — it included a slot for the seniors' capstone projects, and there is only one graduating senior in the art program.

"One senior isn't going to make enough work to fill the entire gallery," he said.

Mabry decided to display the student's work in another location and fill the space in the Mind's Eye Art Gallery with a different show — Fine Art Prints from the DSU Collection.

"So I thought well, we've got our own art collection," he said. "We've got lots of prints because prints are — it's an art of multiples, so they're relatively easy to make and easy to come by and easy to afford."

Mabry also thought it would be helpful to the printmaking instructor, who will be teaching her first printmaking class this spring. She could bring her students to the show to see examples of each of the common types of printmaking.

"This is a fine art gallery for the university and the public, but we think of it as kind of a teaching gallery, so whenever we can use it as a teaching aid for our students, we try to do that," he said.

Mabry and his student intern, Holly Dirch, went through DSU's art repository, pulling all the prints that looked interesting enough to exhibit.

"We edited from there the ones that we thought were the strongest, the ones that weren't so ill-maintained that they wouldn't be easy enough to repair or make improvements on," he said. "I wanted a wide cross-section of different printmaking styles."

Given that the prints were in storage, they had some work to do to get them ready for showing.

"Some of the plexi was a lot more scratched and some of the matting was in bad shape or the print was kinda like sagging or falling," Mabry said. "We had to like take things apart. My intern and I ... spent some time trying to make improvements on a lot of the pieces in the show."

When the prints were show-ready, they arranged them by printmaking process — relief printing, screen printing, lithography, photographic screen printing and intaglio printing.

The show opened Monday and will end March 7. The gallery will host a reception this Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m., coinciding with an art club fundraising sale.