Elmhurst Artists' Guild Presents, Ben Calvert: BenJamin' Beckons Grains and Grooves

August 26 - September 30, 2016

Opening Reception

Friday, August 26 from 7-9 PM

Artist Statement

My art originated as a mechanism to help me deal with the grief of losing my mother. Seeking a therapeutic alternative to my unhappy state, my grandmother suggested that I reconstitute my sorrow into an energy that could be channeled into art. I started wood block printing by taking an independent study course at Knox College. I found working with wood blocks very soothing. My first print, “Invasions,” was published in Catch, Knox’s literary magazine. The medium became a sustaining passion.

I have a strong feeling for nature, and the wood compliments my images. Different types of wood provide varied and often fascinating backgrounds, depending upon on the subject. Recently, I've been using my photography to reconstruct my art works. For some images I use linoleum blocks in order to get more detailed lines in a small area. The majority of my creations are printed on Japanese Kozuki paper, using oil based inks.

Pulling that first print off the block is pure joy. The excitement multiplies when there are multiple blocks for each color involved. Each successive color is a layer that informs the mystery and appeal of the final image. I take much pleasure in hearing interpretations of my work from others. I enjoy creating images that are at once familiar, yet open to interpretation. The more diverse the comments, the more effective I believe my work to be.