Printmakers collaborate to bring ‘relief’


Francine K. Affourtit, 100 canvases, printmaking with constructions from woodcuts. Photo by Marcus Donaldson.

Marcus Donaldson

The School of Art Gallery hosted a closing reception for “The Room of Relief” exhibit 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday night in the Art Building. The exhibit featured the work of three printmaking artists who collaborated to deliver a collective message: relief.

Room of Relief was an installation presented by three master printmakers. Curlee Raven Holton, Veronica Ceci, and Francine K. Affourtit joined forces to “create a room where people walked in and received some kind of psychic relief and illumination,” Holton said. Holton spearheaded the collaboration when the trio met in Venice, Italy. The three, who were strangers at the time, were attending a workshop where they were introduced to each other’s work.

“I do think there was a connection that we made almost immediately, and then it started developing over conversations,” Francine K. Affourtit said. Affourtit is a New York-based artist, educator and arts organizer. She is energized by her desire to nurture relationships with other artists, communities and the public as a way to collaborate and communicate.

“I had always wanted to create an exhibition that was relief prints, but was a space that could give the viewer a sense of psychic relief,” Holton said. “I’m one who firmly believes that part of our struggle is human, and our sufferings come from our desires and our pains and our longings.”

Holton received his Masters of Fine Arts degree from Kent State’s School of Art. Veronica Ceci is currently a graduate assistant in the printmaking department at Kent State University.

“Part of what I love about printmaking in general…is that it is a community effort in a lot of ways,” Ceci said. “For the most part, we share space with other artists, and for me, I really enjoy that feedback that you get while you’re creating about things you could do differently, or people walk past and are like ‘Oh, that’s cool. How did you do that?’”

“What came out of this was this…faith that by collaborating with someone else you can create more than you would create on your own,” Holton said. The artists announced plans to work together again on another installation in the future.

Contact Marcus Donaldson at [email protected].