January 13 – February 24, 2018
in the Terrace Gallery at the Black Rock Center for the Arts in Germantown MD
Travel and encounters with the art and culture of other peoples is a powerful motivator for printmaker Rhonda J. Smith. The themes of her intaglio prints presented in the exhibition “Travel as Talsiman” involve journey, excursions that occur both within the process of creating and in the physical encounters with places and cultures. Like the layers of journey that reveal themselves over time, Smith uses a matrix created on acrylic sheets printed in layers using non-toxic inks. Her printing plates are repurposed sheets of Plexiglas originally used to protect the table tops in her studio. After years of cutting and gluing on these transparent surfaces, she was preparing to toss them out but decided to try using them to make prints. By overprinting the various plates, and creating some with specific images, she found the surfaces produced a tangle of lines suggesting maps and coordinates. For Smith, the process of travel and printmaking are similar. Despite assumptions about where a journey may lead, she is always surprised by what she eventually discovers.