Emeryville, California, United States

Nora Pauwels: Printmaker

What started as a celebration of the partnership between the the City of Emeryville and the Emeryville Artists’ Cooperative in 1987 has since flourished into a wonderful yearly gathering every October for The Annual Emeryville Art Exhibition hosted by the non-profit Emeryville Celebration of the Arts. The juried show hosts 100+ artists who either live or work in Emeryville and the city purchases one piece of art to be displayed at a public location. Nora Pauwels received the first honorable mention for the Annual Purchase Award this year for her massive piece “Blue Print of a Garden”, which will be on display at the Emeryville Police Station. Blue Print of a Garden is comprised of 100 plexiglas plates etched with carborundum and cobalt blue ink which is quite a sight.

How did you select the flowers found in “Blue Print of a Garden"?
All the flowers from "Blue Print of a Garden " come out of our garden at the 45th street Artist Co-op. So far I have collected 97 different plants but there are a lot more.

What is your background in printmaking?

I studied printmaking in Antwerp, Belgium. I became an addicted printmaker, concentrating on etching. Since I moved here, I have been printing at Kala Institute in Berkeley.

Creating prints actually on plexiglass seems very non-traditional. What is your process for creating these prints? How did you develop this style?

This all started when I was trying to find an alternative for etching on copperplates because it is quite toxic, expensive and heavy for big sizes. So plexi plates came to mind because they are super light in comparison and cheap. I started with gloss medium to glue carborundum on plexi and printed it like an etching plate. But then I liked the transparent plexi plates inked up with cobalt blue ink on their own so that was how "Blue print of a garden" came to be.

I hope the boys in blue enjoy this bright blue print installation!

Photo via Annual Emeryville Art Exhibition.

Nora Pauwels: Printmaker