Submerged Bay Area etchers showcase at DVC art gallery


Gustavo Vasquez

Toru Sugita explains the processes of etching on Saturday, March 8, 2014. The SGC International is holding their first printmaking conference in the end of the month in SF. Sugita organized the show to present the school’s presence in printmaking and etching in the SF Bay Area.

Gustavo Vasquez, Photo chief

Students and instructors had the chance to meet the etchers behind DVC’s current art show, and discuss the exhibit during an on-campus reception Saturday, March 8.

The show, California Etchers Currents, is an exhibit consisting of prints made using the etching technique, which is now considered the least popular technique of printmaking.

The exhibit was organized by DVC art faculty instructor Toru Sugita, who organized the show to happen along side the 42nd annual “Bridges” conference, which is being held by the Southern Graphics Council in San Francisco, California.

The SGC International is the largest printmaking organization in North America. The annual conference is being held, for the first time in the west coast, on March 26 through March. 30.

“All these artists from etching groups have not been together for the last several decades,” said Sugita. “It’s good to have one show only about etching.”

The idea behind this show was to bring the etching community together and to show DVC’s strong etching presence in the Bay Area.

David Avery, Peter Baczek, Susan Belau, Carol Benioff, Jen Cole, Shari Deboer, Jessica Dunne, Jackson Fahnestock, Alice Gibbons, John Gruenwald, Nif Hodgson, Jimin Lee, Stephen McMillan, Robin McCloskey and Gloria Morales were just a few of the many artists who participated in this years show.

Peter Baczek, a local Bay Area independent artist in the show said, “It’s a great looking show. Printmaking in the Bay Area has always been a force. I don’t think it’s going away. It just submerged a bit.”

“When you get a show like this together, you’re getting a lot of innovation, a lot of imagery that runs the gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous,” he said.

Scott Tsuchinani is another practicing artist and art instructor in the Bay Area.

“I am proud and honored to be part of this art show that Toru put together,” Tsuchinani described. “I reproduce them by drawing and trying to make them ironic and funny. A lot of it relates to Japanese American experience or Japanese culture somehow.”

Tsuchinani added, “I think it is fantastic. I think Toru is a really intricate part of the print making community so he is connected to a lot of artists and really pulled together a fantastic collection of print makers. I don’t think I’ve seen an etching show of this caliber before, I am really excited to be able to participate.”

Jan Cook, a retired teacher and one of Sugita’s students gave some information about herself as an artist, her thoughts on the show, and thoughts on her instructor, Sugita.

“I came to DVC to further my lifelong learning goals which is to become more proficient at print making and image making,” she said. “I am very excited about the show because the show has a wide variety of prints that cover a different level and type of technique. Toru is a wonderful dedicated teacher, who really wants to promote printmaking.”