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13 artists explore the human condition

Exhibit at Guttenberg Arts Gallery open until March 23

"The Human Condition" has lofty goals.

The Guttenberg Arts Gallery is presenting an exhibit called “The Human Condition,” featuring the works of 13 area print makers who have a shared history producing an arts publication called Carrier Pigeon: Illustrated Fiction and Fine Art. Carrier Pigeon creates quarterly issues of fine art and illustrated fiction, putting creative control in the hands of contributing writers, artists, and designers.

Artists Matt Barteluce, Slavko Djuric, Kirsten Flaherty, Stephen A. Fredericks, Rie Hasegawa, Ellen Peckham, Christina Pumo, Susan Rostov, Justin Sanz, Russ Spitkovsky, Evan Summer, Rob Swanston, and Bruce Waldman each created 20 prints exploring the theme of the human condition. These original prints will also be released in conjunction with the magazine.

This exhibit was the first to feature this artist collective in a long-term limited-edition project composed of fine art prints on silkscreen.

“From the very start, they’ve donated their time in an all-volunteer effort.” — Russ Spitkovsky

Arts collective makes strides

“From the very start, they’ve donated their time in an all-volunteer effort to produce 100-to-200-page volumes of illustrations,” said Russ Spitkovsky a featured artist and studio director. “This portfolio was to showcase different artists, and document the people behind this publication with limited-edition prints in a handmade portfolio rather than a magazine.”

Each artist was assigned a 20-print maximum; each portfolio took more time and effort than usual, Spitkovsky said.

“Personally, our first attempt at creating a fine art, limited edition series feels nice,” Spitkovsky said. “They ran during an event called Print Week in the city.” He said the artists expanded their range with multiple mediums including etchings and lithographs.

The works have lofty goals, reflecting on “encounters, wanting, loss, looking within, and the influences of the outside.”

Guttenberg Arts has historically held arts festivals at Braddock Park, and it hosts workshops and residency exhibits in its studio. The next residency exhibit, “Made Here,” will open on March 30, featuring four artists who work in town. Exhibits are consistently booked in the studio; all are free and open to the public.

Five of the limited edition portfolios are for sale. Those interested in purchasing a series of works and sustaining future publications can visit papercrown.press for more information.

A hub of creativity

Guttenberg Arts supports a number of educational workshops in various mediums, residency programs and exhibitions, regional exhibitions, artist talks and panels, and a series of publications.

It organizes festivals at Braddock Park in North Bergen, the most recent in 2016. Past festivals featured community activities, artist installations, and food trucks The event is bankrolled by the county and other sponsors.

Guttenberg Arts Gallery is free and open to the public by appointment Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 6903 Jackson St. Call 201-868-8585, or email matt@guttenbergarts.org.

To find out more about Carrier Pigeon, visit carrierpigeonmag.com.

For more on this and other stories, check hudsonreporter.com, or follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Mike Montemarano can be reached at mikem@hudsonreporter.com.

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