Chicken Pot Pie to Birds in Art 2016

I lucked out again…

head of White Wyandotte, detail from hand-coloured, 5ft woodcut 'Chicken Pot Pie' by S.V. Medaris

Picking out pieces to submit back in April, this was another one of those “omg, like what do I have to lose?” sort of entries, hoping hoping hoping that this year’s jurors would appreciate a little levity. 6am this morning in my inbox, I found out that they did:

Your Birds in Art entry Chicken Pot Pie has been selected for the 2016 exhibition…

When I read the first lines, my heart skipped a beat — I couldn’t believe it. Chicken Pot Pie, a 5ft tall woodcut has made it into Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s Birds in Art 2016 international, juried exhibit.

Lucked out?

You should understand that each year the jurors are different, and some years I swear it’s like there must’ve been a big NO CHICKENS ALLOWED sign in the jurying room as they sat down to go through the hundreds of entries (no chickens anywhere in the catalogue when I look at that year’s exhibit). And some years there’s not a lot of humor either. But some years there’s no chicken bashing and it’s not all serious, and they let something like a big-ass chicken in. Note that it is 5ft high (the maximum for any dimension for submissions at Birds in Art), so no, not the biggest woodcut size I do, but the biggest allowed for this show. I can’t believe it, and just so honored, thrilled, and excited to see it and the rest of the birds at the 2016 exhibit Sept. 10, 2016 (public opening) at Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.

5ft tall, hand-coloured woodcut, by S.V. Medaris, of a  Giant White Wyandotte, standing atop letters 'Chicken Pot Pie'

Chicken Pot Pie, 60in x 36in, hand-coloured woodcut on Arches.

918 entries from 581 artists, 3 jurors, 91 works selected

More about the jurors (thank you three so much!), and details from the acceptance letter….

Dear Sue,
Are you ready to help launch the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s fifth decade? Your Birds in Art entry Chicken Pot Pie has been selected for the 2016 exhibition….

Jurors Mindy Moak (principal of MME Fine Arts, New York City), Michael Panhorst (curator of art at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Alabama), and Graeme Reid (director of collections and exhibitions at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend), spent a productive day reviewing 918 entries submitted by 581 artists before heading into the final round to select one work each by 91 artists.

…Know that we are proud to exhibit your artwork at the Woodson Art Museum alongside that of 110 other juried artists and past Master Artists….

A little night printing

5ft woodcut, Chicken Pot Pie print, with Hog Butcher... print beside it. Both drying on wall during nighttime editioning

A little nighttime editioning of Chicken Pot Pie after a day of editioning Hog Butcher for the World (on right) at Hoofprint Workshop.

A HUGE shoutout to Liz Born and Gabe Hoare of Hoofprint Workshop, who allowed me to buy a little press time and print off some of the Chicken Pot Pie edition late one night last November. I needed a big enough press (my pressbed is only 30in x 48in) to print the block onto heavy, cotton, sized paper (sizing allows the paper to be able to handle water media). Previous printing had been done by hand or by steamroller (videos below), neither of which could reliably print dense black ink onto thick cotton paper. High quality printing onto this thick paper would then allow me to hand-color it with water-based inks, etc once the print was dry.

Steamroller Printing at UW-Manitowoc

Great event, tons of fun, but printing on thick paper didn’t turn out a very dense black. No matter, printed a couple of great ones on fabric—here’s the videos…

The steamroller prints!
(that’s Nancy, stepmom on the left, and moi in the green shirt):

The print is revealed!
(I’m super-psyched, because it’s the first good print. ie-
fabric—vs. paper—as the substrate did the trick!):

Videos courtesy L.G. Medaris, Jr.

Now in color!

Now, finally, my dreams of Chicken Pot Pie in color are realized, thanks to the generosity (and press) of Liz and Gabe. It’s a lot of work to print these, but then hand-colouring on top of that? Yeah, it’s a ton of time that goes into each one of these, but getting the result you’ve been dreaming of is totally worth it. And then when news like this email from the museum lands in your inbox at 6am, and you realize this huge colorful guy will be hanging in a museum?!? Yeah, it’s worth it.

Hope you’ll be able to see him in all of his technicolor glory, along with about 100 other works by some of the best wildlife and bird artists in the world, starting Sept. 10th, 2016 (showing through November) at Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.

2 thoughts on “Chicken Pot Pie to Birds in Art 2016

  1. Sue
    You didn’t “luck out” – you are incredibly talented. I am so glad that your art is being appreciated. Hope to see you on the spring art tour.

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