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Riding high


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POSTED: Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's not unusual for first-time jurors from outside Hawaii to be surprised at the high quality of work produced by local artists. Contrary to oft-made assumptions, Hawaii's small size and distance from the rest of the world doesn't translate to mediocre art.

Add Michael Krueger, this year's juror of the Honolulu Printmakers' show, to the list of those duly impressed, says Erika Johnson, Printmakers vice president and chairman of the 81st Annual Exhibition.

“;The quality this year was definitely up to snuff,”; she says.

Krueger, an associate professor of art at the University of Kansas, perused 245 entries from 109 artists statewide and selected 81 works, including pieces by nine student artists. Johnson says Krueger was most concerned about representing the printmaking community, deciding to select just one or two pieces per artist in order to be able to include as many artists as possible in the show.

This year includes a good mix of old and new artists, and Johnson says Krueger's selections were notable in that “;a good handful of regular artists of this show didn't get a piece in this year.”;

This isn't necessarily a reflection on the juror or the submissions, she says. A juror's selection process involves more than solely picking the best work. “;It's also about picking works that will work together cohesively,”; she notes.

The collection features pieces from across the gamut of printing techniques, including several installations, works involving new technology and one group piece.

Honolulu Printmaker's 81st Annual Exhibition runs through March 13 at the Academy Art Center, 1111 Victoria St. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Call 536-5507.