The Collaborative Triumph of "/& Editions"

Arts & Culture

BY PHILIP LEDERER SRQ DAILY FRIDAY WEEKEND EDITION FRIDAY JUN 3, 2016

Alfstad& Contemporary celebrates three seasons tonight with the opening of /& Editions, a group exhibition looking back at the many artists whose work has graced the gallery walls and the limited edition prints each made in collaboration with Alfstad& in their time together. For the final show of the season, participating artists include Betsy Cameron, Alain J.L. Huin, Marsha Kazarinov-Owett, Andrea Dasha Reich, Mike Solomon, Bruna Stude, Michael Taylor and Michael Wyshock. Opening tonight with a reception from 5:30pm–8pm, artists will be in attendance and on-hand to answer questions and talk about the experience.

Collaboration is the name of the game at Alfstad&, where each featured artist not only displays past work, but also creates new original work with the gallery in the form of a series of prints. Though on its face a gallery like many others, behind sliding walls and tucked away in back rooms lies a top-of-the-line printing studio, where Alfstad&’s Chris Schumaker works with these artists to bring their projects to life. There’s plenty of space and storage, says Schumaker, “but the technology is what makes it cutting edge.” Between a super-high resolution scanner capturing up to 3,000 dpi (dots per square inch), a large-format printer with similar capabilities, archival inks and the ability to print on everything from canvas to aluminum and paper to film, along with a screenprinting set-up that utilizes vacuum-sealing perfection, Schumaker has everything he needs to meet the visiting artists on an even playing field.

In Alfstad’s eyes, this collaboration is to the benefit of all: artist, audience and gallery. “Artists enjoy stretching their vision and their artistic sensibilities into new media,” he said. “It gives them a way to look at everything differently and it re-energizes them.” For the audience, the benefit comes in the end result: high-quality art at not-so-high prices. Budding collectors may not have the pocketbook for painting prices, but prints provide primo starting points. For Schumaker, it’s a chance to spread his own wings and develop as an artist. “Working with the artists is a joyous process,” he said. “Even if it’s difficult, you still learn something.”

/& Editions opens tonight at Alfstad& Contemporary with a reception at 5:30pm and runs through Jul. 15.

Pictured: "Yesterday" by Michael Wyshock. Photo courtesy of Alfstad& Contemporary.

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