A Virtual Talk with artist Catherine Shuman Miller

Written by Book Arts intern, Lara Knopf

I had the privilege to see the current exhibition, Other Units and Spaces  by Catherine Shuman Miller in person and attend the virtual artist’s talk. Before the talk, I had not realized the complex printing process involved in creating each piece. I was shocked to hear that her “Twisted” prints use anywhere from 4 to 8 etching plates layered with transparent ink to create the hypnotizing mazes of color. Her process also consists of collaging to hash out ideas, testing color palettes, and grid-based designing as a point of departure. 

She experiments a lot with different processes, using huge woodblock prints, gouache underpaintings, and collage to explore the idea of dwellings, both imaginary and real. This playfulness and willingness to try new things has aided her greatly in being motivated to make art in the uncertain time of Covid-19. Although she doesn’t have a printing press at home, she has been working with hand printing (like in “Keep in Touch”), mixed media, and painting. This allows for work that is more tangible and “huggable” to create imaginary spaces (see her series of “small dwellings”).

It is truly an inspiration to see someone continue to explore and develop their practice in such a difficult time.

I’ve found it very difficult to create lately, but Catherine inspires me to experiment with new media and just have fun!

Catherine Shuman Miller’s exhibition “Other Units and Spaces” is on both virtual and in-person view in our Main Gallery until October 24. 

Watch the Artist Talk!


Book Arts Intern

Megan is a fall Studio Intern with Book Arts. Catch her buzzing around the studio printing various items for Book Arts Shop & Main Gallery exhibition series.  Questions for Lara? Get in touch at [email protected].