Jesse Shaw
"American Epic: A Selection of Seven Prints"

American Flowers, 2011, linocut, 36" x 24"

East Gallery
June 4 - July 5, 2022

Opening Reception:

Saturday, June 4, 6pm-9pm

Artist Statement:

 

When I pulled my first print, my artistic vision became tangible for the first time.  After the second print, I began to realize what the word "infinite" could mean to me. I gained personal meaning to many words through printmaking including devotion, self-discipline, perseverance, and craftsmanship.

In 2008, I traveled to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire to study Jose Clemente Orozco’s mural “The Epic of American Civilization.”  The mural surrounds an area full of books and desks with studying students on the ground floor of the Baker-Berry Library.  I spent hours studying the scenes taking place within the painting, the actions of the figures depicted, and the compositions that comprise the works. The immense presence and scope of the work was the initial inspiration for my interpretation of the American Story.

Allegories, narratives, iconography, symbolism, and Americana are tangled with my personal life experiences in this version of the story. I have been working on the "American Epic" series for fourteen years and have completed thirty prints. This body of work will take over 20 years to complete. I knew when starting this project that I would be a different person by the end of it.

For this exhibition, I selected seven prints from the series that best represent the body of work as a whole. This work has been shown nationally while in progress as the series reaches the fifty prints that will make up the overall work. In addition to the series, I have continued to explore other mediums, techniques, and collaborations as an extension of the "American Epic" prints.