March Friday for the Arts

Joseph Craig English pulled his first serigraph in ninth grade art class more than 50 years ago. Today he continues to experiment with silkscreen process, pushing the limits of the media to create vibrantly colorful images portraying the urban landscape of the Mid-Atlantic region from Baltimore to the Outer Banks.

Starting with a pencil pattern from a photo he has taken, the artist meticulously hand cuts a lacquer stencil for each color in his design. Using a squeegee, he pulls the oil-based ink through the stencil onto the paper below the screen. Stencils for each additional color are then printed in order from the lightest to the darkest color. Original prints or “serigraphs” are often the product of more than 30 separate stencils. The artist takes great pride in handcrafting all of his work; from the cutting of the stencils to pulling each print personally.

Comments from Joseph Craig English about works in the upcoming show for March:

"Village Cafe"  A VCU student hangout at the corner of Harrison and Grace Streets in the Fan.  This building has been through some changes since I attended art school at VCU.  I remember it as a laundromat, a women's clothing store and finally this terrific sandwich shop/ restaurant.
"Italian Garden" This all season garden is one of the highlights of a trip to Maymont Park in Richmond.  I first photographed the gardens in late summer and the colors were stunning.
"Catalina Sailboat" I had the good fortune of visiting Catalina Island, 26 miles off the coast at Long Beach, California.  The color and excitement there is stimulating I wish my trip could have been longer.