Los Angeles artist and printmaker John Carr organized the Yo! What Happened To Peace? traveling exhibit 2 years ago. The exhibit is a collection of contemporary anti-war prints “designed to spread the message of non-violence.” The exhibit was shown in Boston and New York during the Democratic and Republican conventions, and is now traveling overseas.
What makes the exhibit unusual aside from its political content, is its being a showcase for traditional hand-crafted prints. Carr, who runs a fine arts silkscreen shop in downtown LA, wants to see artists working with long established methods like lithography, silk-screen, woodcuts, linocuts, etchings and monotypes.
As a printmaker myself, I couldn’t agree more when it comes to preserving and expanding the art of printmaking. While machine printing offers convenience and low cost to an artist, there is nothing like a beautiful hand-pulled and signed edition of prints.
I have a few silk-screens in the exhibit, which has grown in size tenfold since starting 2 years ago. The exhibit is currently being shown in Reykjavik, Iceland and it will travel to Norway, Sweden, and other Scandinavian destinations to be announced. From May 20th to the 22nd, the exhibit opens in Milan, Italy, where it will be part of a punk photography/art festival at Leoncavallo (the oldest squat in Europe).
From there the show will travel to Tokyo, Japan, where it will show at the Parco Gallery from June 10th, to July 4th. Here’s what Carr says about the Tokyo showing: “This is a great step for the show to be in a large, well promoted space. This and the other international exhibitions intend to show that despite the US corporate media’s international blackout, there is currently strong anti-war and pro-peace sentiment here in the States.”