Friday, October 19, 2007

Jessica Mills

This week's artist, and the first to begin the trend is a MFA Candidate at the University of Georgia in Printmaking. Her approach to printmaking is a great departure from a medium that can be very traditional and limiting for many artists. Several printmakers, including the greats, seem to become overwhelmed by the medium. One of the most common criticisms of printmakers is that they are more concerned with the process of making an image than in the image itself. The criticism is far from the truth for this artist.

So without further ado, Jessica Mills.

If I had to guess, I would say that Mills is going places. Her work is able to achieve a familiarity with its' audiences that is hard to find outside of old family photographs and movies that you can replay in your mind. The underlying Americana sensibility is one of the characteristics of this series that instantly won me over. Mills' upbringing in Nebraska is undoubtedly what gives these images such a personal stake in her wide and minimalist landscapes.

Her current body of work is predominantly trace monotypes. Previously she was working with intaglio, so I'm guessing this was a pretty smooth transition for her. The work deals with the idea of memory and the images that your mind saves from specific instances, although not necessarily particular events. From what I understand of her working method, she pulls her images from photographs she takes using a digital camera that never leaves her side. This close companion is definitely helping her to turn out some stellar work.

Here are some of my favorites:

Under the Red Sunlight, 2007. Trace monotype.

Afternoon Drags On and On, 2007. Trace monotype.

Passing Afternoon Series, 2006. Trace monotype.

Through intimacy in layering, the transparency of papers and meditative mark making the prints invite the viewer to enter into them. Invite the viewer to read into them in a similar fashion to his or her own approach to a favorite book. To react to them in a similar way to a song that could just break hearts. These images serve as evidence of the body’s imprint on land, of our constant dialogue with the environment that surrounds.


Mills has work up at the Lamar Dodd School of Art right now. In terms of upcoming I have yet to find anything, but will post if I see something come up.

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