The Commissioned Print Project took place from 2010 to 2014. It was an open call, juried project which included a stipend for the awarded artist. Commissioned Prints are still available for purchase and are included in CSP’s archive at the Bancroft Library.
Barbara Rogers, My Neighbor, multiple-plate color etching, 2010, edition of 16.
Robin McCloskey, 2010, edition of 20 with 2 artist proofs.
Roberta Loach, etching.
Carrie Ann Plank, Ecliptic, stone lithography and screen print, 2013, edition of 20 with 2 artist proofs.
Jonathan Barcan, 2014. Juried by Daniel Lienau.
I had a studio for many years in an East Oakland live work complex. The complex was like the house that Jack built, each unit had been constructed by its original occupant and all were at various stages of completion. In daylight the place resembled an abandoned warehouse in reality it had been an iron foundry and it continues to wear the soot and grime of that institution. It is only at night when inner light begins to take on a magical glow outlined by the large steel framed windows with panes in various stages of disrepair and non existance, silhouetting the plants and trees in the foreground.
We had a neighbor that everyone liked, he was happy to become whatever kind of person that you needed at the moment. For some he was the shoulder to cry on, the nonjudgemental diplomat, a chess buddy, an assistant for any kind of art project, the extra member of what ever political/social group that was formed, what ever you needed he was eager to take part. His approach to life was that it was to be enjoyed and only taken seriously for important things such as a homeless person’s struggle or the environmental health of an Oakland creek. He turned a bunch of cynics, disfunctional egos and grumps into a community. The last time I saw him he was in a rare bad mood so far the day had not gone right for him, seeing he was not happy I left him to finish his breakfast ln peace. The memorial in his honor filled a restaurant and the street out side. Neighbors who long moved away came back, friends who he shared boy scout adventures with and family came to remember and become amazed at the size of the impression he left behind.
Months later I was out on a warm winter night in front of his studio, gazing at the evening sky and the light comming from inside of the building when a figure came and opened the door, my first thought was: There’s Bill. Then I remembered. . . My second thought: Only an etching is a suitable way to tell this story.
When I joined CSP I was asked to join the board and appointed the CSP historian. I took it upon myself to research the archives and discovered that the commisioned print was the primary motivation to attract associate members and patrons, by the founders of the California Society of Etchers. I often suggested at board meetings that the membership revive the practice. I was pleased later to see that the suggestion had been adopted and even later very flattered and surprised when told that this print has been chosen. I had no knowledge that a fellow CSP member saw the print and approached the board to select it.
Jonathan Barcan is a San Francisco based mixed media artist and printmaker that exhibits nationally and internationally. Recent noteworthy exhibitions include the New Florence Biennial, Florence, Italy, and the Today Museum Printmaking Center, Beijing, China, and residencies at the Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing, and Tech Shop SF, San Francisco. Barcan is active in the local arts community as a participant, curator, and volunteer. He sat on the Steering Committee for the 2014 Southern Graphics International Conference as the Exhibitions Committee Chair, and has served on the Board of Directors as the Exhibitions Co-director for the California Society of Printmakers.
My artwork is derived from my fascination with what it means to be a human being in our contemporary world. It is a complex system of trying to synthesize the enormous amount of information from a constant engagement with our bodies and new technologies. We try to process and understand the value and the difference between actual and virtual space, and we negotiate instinctual human needs with the consumptive needs of the global market and mass media.
With the increasing velocity and constancy of information, it can be hard to keep up with knowing what exactly is going on. Sometimes I think to myself, it is as if with out conscience, in the same way that a rock knows nothing of the hillside it slides down or a molecule knows nothing of the biological current it travels, our collective culture is moving with a forward momentum that exists without memory.