If you’re heading down to Artwalk this Friday, May 13, be sure to stop by the Firehouse to see our latest show featuring the work of local artist and recent University of South Alabama graduate, John Klosterman.
John graduated with a BFA in printmaking and will be showing a series of his large-scale prints featuring Mobile themes. He creates his pieces by carving his image in reverse on large blocks of wood using traditional Japanese woodworking tools. He then uses a large inkslab to transfer the image to paper—often creating very small runs of only 1-10 prints per carving.
Part of the impact of John’s work is the combination of both size and detail involved in the prints. “It’s a constant battle getting the balance and texture right,” says John. “Some people think that when you start producing large artwork it’s a cop out—it’s too simple, but I balance that by putting in a lot detail. The final image you create, and the size that you make it, becomes as much a part of the art as the details involved in the carving.”
A Gulf Coast native, John’s artwork is influenced by the culture and history of the region—from a piece reflecting his experiencing working on the BP oil spill, to a Mardi Gras scene, to a carving of his grandfather who started the restaurant his family still operates today.
“When I started creating art as a teenager, it was more critical of the area and the problems of the south… and I was probably also a little more angst-filled,” he says with a laugh. “But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve also learned to appreciate the history and the culture, so now much of my work is about balancing both the good and the bad.”
John will be attending the University of Alabama this fall to continue his career in printmaking as he studies for an MFA in the field. You can meet him this Friday between 6-8 at the Firehouse to learn more about his process and influences.
In addition, local artist Yevette R. Ward will be displaying several of her cubist pieces and drawing “cubist portraits” later in the evening.