image credit: Calvin Joseph
Miranda Kudajczyk, Michelle Pichette, Andrea von Wichert
November 2nd, 2018 to December 1st, 2018
Opening: November 2nd, 5-8 pm
These events are free and open to the public
Read an accompanying exhibition text by Jennifer Smith below
Making Our Mark III: Interface is a group show with work by Miranda Kudajczyk, Michelle Pichette, and Andrea von Wichert. Making Our Mark is a printmaking and professional development mentorship program created in partnership with Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba and funded by the Winnipeg Foundation.
Miranda Kudajczyk is an artist based in Winnipeg, MB. She uses a variety of techniques such as etching, screen printing and mono printing. Kudajczyk began the BFA program at the School of Art, University of Manitoba in the fall of 2018, and was recently in the Making Our Mark III program at Martha Street Studio.
Michelle Pichette is a conceptual artist who is currently exploring issues surrounding what it means to be humane in a global society.
Graduating in 2007 from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in printmaking, Pichette was awarded the University gold medal for highest standing in Studio Program.
Her past work is a form of visual diary with themes of fragmentation, physical boundaries and connected disconnectedness where she primarily worked in printmaking, sculptural porcelain and drawing. As well as painting in oils since childhood, she has also worked with wood, glass, fibre, functional ceramics, collage, electronics and photography. She currently spends time drawing as she rebuilds both her health and an art practice.
Pichette has participated in group exhibitions in Winnipeg and Toronto.
Andrea von Wichert is a Winnipeg visual artist/writer/performer whose recent work focuses on abjection as self-identity, particularly as it relates to expressions of madness and the limitations of disability within our current cultural context. A scenic artist in the Winnipeg film and theatre industries for over 20 years, she is now focused on her own visual art practice, most recently as a participant in the Making Our Mark III program at Martha Street Studio.
Her words have been heard all over the country, been published in Prairie Fire Magazine and this past summer have been included in Frontenac Press’s GUSH: Menstrual Manifestos for Our Times. Performances include numerous Canadian Festivals of Spoken Word, the 2012 Brighton Fringe Festival as part of PAZZIA Live Art Collective, and a one-person show Andrea von Wichert is OVEREXPOSED. Find her on instagram at @vonwichertstudio.
von Wichert is grateful to the Manitoba Arts Council for its support in this program.
Martha Street Studio gratefully acknowledges the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council for their dedicated support of our professional programming.
Making Our Mark III: Interface
Making Our Mark III: Interface is an exhibit featuring three talented and dedicated artists; Miranda Kudajczyk, Michelle Pichette, Andrea von Wichert. The exhibition runs from November 2nd – December 1st, 2018, and is the culmination of work these three artists took on during the Making Our Mark program, a professional development program created as a partnership between Martha Street Studio and the Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba. Through the program the artists learned different printmaking techniques including linocuts, monoprinting, lithography, etching. The print studios were open for the artists to use as they wished and to continue their practice of printmaking once the classes were finished. Each artist used their newfound knowledge in different ways, experimenting with the medium of printmaking. Some of these results are part of the Making Our Mark III: Interface exhibition. All of the work made during the program is not necessarily on display within the exhibition, as each artist has curated their own work for the show.
Shortly before the exhibition was to be mounted I was lucky enough to do studio visits with each of the exhibiting artists, who generously spent time with me, showed me their work, told me about what they learned through the program, and talked about what they would be exhibiting in the show. The exhibit is very diverse conceptually and displays a mix of print methods.
Miranda Kudajczyk is a young and eager artist. She is currently enrolled in her first year at the School of Fine Art at the University of Manitoba. For someone who is embarking on an arts career, she is focused, and has a strong urge to make. When we met for our studio visit I interrupted her in the middle of making a monoprint and when we sat down to look through her work she brought out over a hundred prints, the majority of which were monoprints. One thing that is evident in Miranda’s monoprints, and that she herself appreciates, is that the technique allows her to experiment and consider what it means for a print to be one of kind. Many of the prints were finished with individual touches, such as smudging of ink after the print was done, but before the ink dried. Others have imprints in the paper and hand painted markings. Miranda was not focused on a concept for this body of work; instead, she wanted to learn as much as she could about monoprinting, and you can see the progression in what she learned from her early prints to the ones she made later in the program. Miranda is building on the idea that ten thousand hours of focused work will make you an expert by refining technique, learning about the medium, and building concepts from knowledge of the work of printmaking.
Michelle Pichette said that she likes the idea of making ‘happy prints’: art that made her feel good, but also made her think a lot about her time in Palestine in 2008. Her work is less about the physical form it takes and more about the emotional labour of what goes into her art. In this exhibition, Michelle has included a series of digital prints that were combined from a project called Operation Finding Joy. She had many examples of different printmaking techniques she worked with throughout the Making Our Mark program, but ultimately, she felt she needed to explore the concepts of happiness and joy through the digital prints more than exploring printmaking in other forms.
Operation Finding Joy focuses around an image Michelle took in Palestine of a series of paintings by children depicting everyday things like flowers, water, and dancing. The digital prints in the series reflect the children’s paintings by capturing the subjects they explore in real life. The subject is political, but is not backing up any specific political message. It is a way of showing everyday life in Palestine, communicating that there is joy to be found even in the worst situations. One of the key points Michelle made was that in the time Palestine has been occupied, almost every single person living there would have been a child during the occupation, and that through all of this, there are still ways to find joy.
Andrea von Wichert has immersed herself in printmaking. Entering her studio, there is evidence of what she has learned through the Making Our Mark program everywhere. The walls are covered in prints. These prints tell a story of someone who lives a life of making art, and who is making art about their life. The images are of her partner, her pets, friends, and herself. Most of the time the work starts with an image, often selfie style, and then is made into a print. Andrea experimented with all forms of printmaking taught during the program, but found some suited her practice better than others. Methods like monoprinting, lithography, and linocuts fit in with her practice, which she describes as fast paced and prolific. Similar to Miranda’s monoprints, the prints are individualized and each one has a special touch, making it different from the others. Although Andrea is not exhibiting all the prints she made during the program, I saw hundreds of prints in the time I spent with her. There was a lot of practice and experimentation with the medium, and then a body of work was created specifically for the exhibit called Send in the Clowns. This project is shown in part at Martha Street Studio. Andrea plans to continue building on the work and hopes to exhibit it in other spaces in the future.
Send in the Clowns focuses on Andrea and her partner in the role of clowns, examining the absurdities, tragedies, challenges, and joyful moments of everyday life. The volume of prints being shown really lets you immerse yourself in Andrea’s thoughts and feelings, but is also an amazing example of how strong of an influence the Making Our Mark program can have on an artist and their practice. Andrea gained a large amount of knowledge that she fostered over a short period of time.
Making Our Mark III: Interface is an example of the ways one medium can influence three very different artists. The presentation of their work shows artists exploring very different ideas. Each found influence in varied places: Miranda strongly focuses on a specific method of printmaking, monoprinting, and experiments with it, wanting to perfect her craft; Michelle found inspiration in printmaking, causing her to revisit a trip that had a profound emotional effect on her years ago, and took the time to think through the feelings of the time and space she was in; Andrea immersed herself in printmaking, constantly creating, and explored a body of work through prints. Andrea works in a space surrounded with her prints, and wants an audience to immerse themselves in the work too. It isn’t uncommon that three artists would create very different work out of the same medium, however, Miranda, Michelle, and Andrea have created very special work based on the processes they learned.
Jennifer Smith is a Métis curator, writer, and arts administrator in Winnipeg, Canada. Jennifer has been working in arts administration for ten years, and has worked for organizations such as the Costume Museum of Canada, the Manitoba Crafts Museum and Library, the Winnipeg Film Group, and currently at Video Pool Media Arts Centre. Jennifer is the President of the board for the Coalition of Canadian Independent Media Art Distributors that runs VUCAVU.com. She has curated exhibits and video programs for the Manitoba Craft Council, Video Pool Media Arts Centre, Open City Cinema, MAWA, and the Manitoba Crafts Museum and Library. Jennifer was the Indigenous Curator in Residence at aceartinc. from March to August 2018.
About Making Our Mark:
In this third iteration of Making Our Mark, the program has provided 4 mid-career, professionally identified, local artists with disabilities the opportunity to explore the art of printmaking and professional art career practices. The participants of Making Our Mark III are Hildi Janzen, Miranda Kudajczyk, Michelle Pichette, and Andrea von Wichert.
Since 2013, Making Our Mark has supported the full inclusion of artists with disabilities within the contemporary arts stream through mentorship, discussions and skills development, identified by the artists themselves. Four selected participants receive group technical training in several printmaking methods and are provided with individual professional development mentorships.
Martha Street Studio is a fully accessible and inviting creative space. An accessible entryway, washrooms, and centrally located wheelchair lift make it an accessible and welcoming space for this city’s talented community of artists with disabilities.
Making Our Mark is conducted in partnership with Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba and is funded by the Winnipeg Foundation.