Recently stumbled upon the work of Minneapolis-based mixed media artist Amy Rice, and was drawn to her unique style right away. Since she grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest, it’s no surprise that she favors natural and pastoral themes.
Though she took many art history courses in college, she didn’t receive any formal art training, having majored in sociology and women’s studies. Being a self taught artist has worked in her favor, as she has never felt constrained by any hard and fast rules or the need to adhere to convention.
She achieves her trademark style with non-traditional printmaking methods, including hand cut stencils and a Japanese screen printing toy called a Gocco. She uses spray paint, acrylics, gouache, and ink to print on a variety of surfaces, including wood, fabric, and antique papers (handwritten love letters, envelopes, music sheets, maps, journal pages), and “is most satisfied when I can make a tangible or visceral connection between the materials used and the image rendered.”
Her nostalgic and wistful images are largely biographical, and she counts among her inspirations “bicycles, street art, gardening, random found objects, collective endeavors that challenge hierarchy, acts of compassion, downright silliness, and things with wings.”
I am fascinated by the familiar presence of the dark-haired girl with braids — just who is she?
I do like how she “collaborates” with the past — using mediums or materials made long ago by another person’s hand as starting points to create something entirely new (e.g., she’s painted on antique embroidery stitched by her great and great-great grandmothers).
In addition to her hand painted Gocco prints, she also does hand carved relief prints.
She published Playing with Stencils in 2013, which has been translated into French, Italian, and German.
Check out this interesting video, filmed at Amy’s 6th floor studio in the California Building in Minneapolis. Towards the end, she demonstrates how she uses the Gocco printer.
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