Alyson Atchison is a printmaker, independent curator, and art writer based in Oklahoma City. She will be presenting all-new serigraphs based on important conversations she shared with her father before his passing.
“The process of serigraphy is, for me, like having a conversation with an old friend. No matter how long it’s been, we pick up where we last left off, and it feels like no time has passed. With a friend or loved one, these conversations can sometimes give meaning to our lives together. For this exhibition, titled I’ve been meaning to tell you… I pondered on those important conversations in my life – those I’ve had, want to have and wanted to have before it was too late.
In the months before my father’s death in November 2016, the two of us had a series of conversations that were unlike any others. We had the opportunity to tell each other things we had maybe always wanted to say. We exchanged mutual admiration and forgiveness, expressed the value of our memories together, and acknowledged strengths in each other. And we shared our fears about the separation and inevitable end to the conversation upon his death.
Those conversations have served me over the last year as I look to the people in my life. We don’t all get to say goodbye. But we often experience simple moments with our loved ones that seem like insignificant parts of life – quick dinners, a ride to the airport, unexpectedly running into each other at the grocery store. They seem trivial, but they populate our lives as much as the holiday dinners or grand gestures.
As I returned to the studio for this exhibition, I was inspired by those conversations with my father and the commitment to not save everything until the end with the people who are still here. And in the studio, I picked up on a conversation with serigraphy like we were never apart.”
“To produce a serigraph, I use a fine mesh screen and a rubber squeegee to push a smooth layer of ink onto the strategically placed paper below my screen. I lay down colored inks in individual layers, from light to dark shades. In between color layers, I apply a liquid screen-filler with a brush to block out certain areas of the screen where I want to keep the previous colors from being printed over again. This is called the Reduction Method because the printable area of the screen is being reduced. Throughout the entire process of a serigraph, the screen remains locked onto my printing board, and the paper is placed in the same precise position for each color layer – allowing me to make several prints of the same original artwork.
“Each of my serigraph editions are limited. Because I block each color by hand, the actual image template is destroyed in the process and cannot be reproduced. All of my prints are created on waterleaf paper and presented using acid-free products to protect from discoloration due to aging.”
Atchison earned a BA in Studio Art (2000) and M.Ed. in Arts Education – Printmaking (2002) from the University of Central Oklahoma. Throughout her tenure at the Oklahoma Arts Council as the Curator of Education and Capitol Galleries (2009-2017), Atchison curated and prepared over 100 exhibitions of artwork by Oklahoma artists in the galleries at the Oklahoma Capitol. In addition, she produced educational resources for public school students to learn Oklahoma History and art fundamentals through the permanent collections at the Capitol. Most notably, Atchison developed the content for “African-American History in Oklahoma” published by The Oklahoman for their Newspapers in Education program – distributed to over 35,000 school students. In addition, she served as contributing editor for “Celebrating Allan Houser: An Oklahoma Perspective” also published by The Oklahoman for Newspapers in Education.
Atchison has served as adjunct instructor of serigraphy at the University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma Christian University. She was a founding committee member of Momentum: Art Doesn’t Stand Still with the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC) and served as co-chair for the Artist Survival Kit (ASK) committee for several years. Her artwork was recently featured in Arcadia Magazine (Issue 9.3/Spring 2015), and has been exhibited nationally.
Atchison currently has artwork on exhibit at Science Museum Oklahoma for “Sole Expression: The Art of the Shoe” and is working on several independent and collaborative curatorial projects for the next year.