January 6, 2013

Niche Carved

Dorothy Schwartz has spent her artistic career refining her skill as a maker of prints – especially woodcuts. A retrospective of that work goes up at the Maine Jewish Museum.

By Bob Keyes bkeyes@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Dorothy Schwartz in her studio in Portland.

John Ewing/Staff Photogrpher

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“Badge,” woodcut, created in 2001 by Dorothy Schwartz.

Jay York photo

Additional Photos Below

ON VIEW

"DOROTHY SCHWARTZ: EVOLUTION OF A PRINTMAKER"

WHEN: Opens Thursday with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. On view through Feb. 25.

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday and by appointment

WHERE: Maine Jewish Museum, 267 Congress St., Portland

HOW MUCH: Free

INFO: 329-9854; treeoflifemuseum.org

Elliott Schwartz's first appointment was to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and the couple came to Maine when he received a teaching job at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. His career has been active and prolific, and remains so.

A GREAT MENTOR

All the while, Schwartz busied herself with her art. She made a commitment to be an artist while studying under the tutelage of Leonard Baskin at Smith. She never let go of her goal.

Schwartz joined Peregrine Press in 1993, and enrolled in printmaking workshops at Vinalhaven Press over the years.

When she saw Baskin soon before his death in 2000 at an opening in Portland, Schwartz asked if he was still making work.

"Of course. Are you still doing work, Feldman?" he bellowed, using her maiden name.

Her answer was affirmative, and she suspects that Baskin would be proud of his former student if he could see this show. "What I came to understand about Baskin was that he was not easy on those students he felt had the great possibilities," she said, adding that he viewed her as among his promising pupils.

He pushed her hard, and demanded excellence.

Schwartz has showed her work over the years. Since 2001, she has had three shows at June Fitzpatrick Gallery in Portland. But it wasn't until she left her post at the Maine Humanities Council that she set up a studio outside her home, taking over photographer Scott Peterman's space at the Bakery Studios on Pleasant Street when the Bakery Photographic Collective moved to Westbrook.

Today, her studio is filled with prints from five decades. That is where Brown began sifting when he started work on this show.

After a few sessions in the studio, Brown thought he had the show assembled. But then Schwartz went home and began digging to find an elusive print that she wanted to include. She found much more work at home, and her search expanded to the Peregrine Press studio and other hideaways.

The show that Brown thought he had assembled grew into what is now Schwartz's first true retrospective.

The volume and range surprised even Schwartz as the exhibition came together.

"I knew I had done quite a lot of work over the years," she said, "but I don't think I realized the sheer amount of work I had produced."

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or:

bkeyes@pressherald.com

Twitter: pphbkeyes

 

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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

“River: Hiroshima,” woodcut and metal type created in 2001 by Dorothy Schwartz.

Jay York photo

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Tyranny of Numbers,” woodcut and metal type; created in 2001 by Dorothy Schwartz.

Jay York photo

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Boots,” monotype, 2012.

Jay York photo

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“Daedalus and Icarus,” woodcut, 1957.

Jay York photo

  


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