Last week, Mount St. Mary’s University welcomed visiting artist Ken Wood to campus. Wood is an esteemed printmaker who lives in St. Louis and teaches the art of printmaking at St. Louis Community College. Students and faculty alike were treated to a presentation of his work during a luncheon in O’Hara Dining Room on April 7 2016.
Wood was introduced by Nick Hutchings, an assistant professor in the Visual and Performing Arts Department, who was also taught by Wood.
Before going to graduate school for his Master in Fine Art’s at Tyler University, Wood was an architect who had earned his undergraduate degree at Rice University. Wood has been making prints for the past several years, and showed his work in a PowerPoint presentation.
The first project he showed was a collection of 40 x 49 inch pieces called “Scripta Volant,” or, “Written Words Fly,” which was first seen in 2014. Wood explained that this particular project was meant to show “the notions that words can be put forth is a good way or a bad way.” He wanted the pieces to show a sort of motion.
To do this, Wood worked with a print maker and together they created a cohesive art piece made from three layers. In regards to creating artwork with another person, he said: “I love working with other people. It just makes it so much more dynamic and fun.”
The creation of the prints is an exhaustive process. He explained that at the very most, six prints could be made in one day.
“Scripta Volant” was followed up by Wood’s 2015 collection, which he called “Each to Other.” This collection had the same basic premise as “Scripta Volant”, but were smaller. He explained that the paper was smaller, but the brush strokes were bigger, leaving less blank white space on the paper.
Another project Wood created was an adaptive reuse piece. He created paintbrushes and other tools from pieces of a recycled cabinet, an old toilet brush, pencils, and rugs. He then allowed people to use the tools and create their own art in an open studio.
Wood enjoyed this piece because it gave him a lack of control over his pieces. “I had to learn it’s okay not to be totally in control,” He said.
So, what is Ken Wood doing today? Right now, he’s working on a commission piece for a cruise ship. Although Wood said that he’s never been on a cruise, and likely never will, he’s excited to create these prints and see what the future holds for him and his artwork.