by Catherine Peshek
One by one, the Saint Petersburg College professor and printmaker Marjorie Green turned the wheel of the press to prepare for a collaborative show running from January 13th to February 6th at the Crossroads Gallery on the St. Petersburg College Clearwater campus also featuring her long-term friend Shirley Frank and former student Josh Stover.
An array of brightly colored faces stared back at her from the walls of the studio as students abruptly shuffled around the room. Revealing nothing but outlined silhouettes sipping from tea cups, her relief-block prints remained unrecognizable until the final stroke.
“The process of reduction printing allows me to see my story develop and make decisions and changes along the way,” Green said.
Shifting from her usual nature-inspired pieces, the figures in the current work reflected personal observations she made while watching co-workers construct ceramic bowls.
“I don’t really know why these images came up, but I do know I’ve been trying to get away from landscapes and allowing the work to tell me what needs to happen next,” Green said.
The other two artists, Frank and Stover, created pieces based on their own preferred methods and inspirations.
An educator and painter, Frank’s collage pieces relied on her “long-time interest in cemeteries as integral pieces of the visual landscape” as described in her Artist Statement found on floridaartistgroup.org. Her connection with Green developed through their 25-year friendship that also influenced the progression of each other’s work.
“When you are out there on your own, it is always important to have someone’s criticism you know you can trust to make you a better artist, and Shirley has definitely been a big influence on my career,” Green said.
The mentor relationship followed through with Stover’s work also through using print methods he learned in Greens class at Saint Petersburg College to transfer onto the ceramic pieces intended for the show.
The work of all three artists connected on more than a visual level, which set the foundation of the show as Green puts it, “How one artist helps another yet each goes in their own direction.”