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"Hands On"
SAGA (Society of American Graphic Artists)
Featuring the works of the current council members
February 3-25 2012

Projects Gallery, in collaboration with the Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA), presents Hands On, a group offering of thirteen highly accomplished printmakers that use hand-pulled processes to create their art.  These artists are the current council members of SAGA, a juried, not-for-profit national organization of fine art printmakers based in Manhattan. 

Emphasizing such techniques as mezzotint, engraving, etching, lithography and silkscreen, SAGA is a consortium of printmakers who make prints that are rich, vital and relevant.  The Society has a long and distinguished history; its origins stretch back to 1915 when a group of printmakers founded the Brooklyn Society of Etchers. Over the years SAGA has grown to include printmakers from throughout the country and has organized numerous national and international exhibitions.  Early members included:  Henri Matisse, Kathe Kollowitz, John Sloan, Edward Hopper, Pablo Picasso, Mary Cassatt, Joseph Pennell, John Marin, Childe Hassam and John Taylor Arms.  For more information about SAGA, visit its website at sagaprints.org.  Hands On featured artists are:

William Behnken, a life-long resident of New York with an MA and BA from the City College of New York, where he has taught for four decades. He is the recipient of many awards and represented in numerous museum collections.  He is also an elected member of the National Academy of Design, where he taught printmaking from 2001 to 2007.  His work was the subject of a featured essay in the Spring 2007 edition of American Artist’s Drawing Magazine.

Joseph Essig received his BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art and his MFA at the Tyler School of Art.  He has received numerous prestigious awards, and his work appears in many private and museum collections. His prints explore his relationship with the Brooklyn waterfront, and his etchings utilize a la poupee inking and interpretive wiping to create abrupt contrasts and atmospheric effects to create dramatic moments.

Amir Hariri was born in Tehran and immigrated to the U.S. to attend college in the early 1990's. He has studied printmaking (with specialization in stone lithography) with Michael Pellettieri, and painting with William Scharf at the Art Students League of New York. His work incorporates his studies in anatomy, architecture and mechanics into an organic, "bio-mechanical" unity. Overarching themes also include investigation of architectonic space and anthropomorphic anatomy.

Michael Hew Wing defines himself as a printmaker. To him, it is not only the love of the line, textures, and imagery created by etching techniques but the process that is equally and vitally important, specifically the struggle with the tools and plate to bring forth the image he is trying to achieve.
He received an MA from the Fashion Institute of Technology and a BA from Hamilton College. He has participated in numerous exhibitions in New York City and abroad, including Ireland, Australia and Spain. He was the recent recipient of the Chaim Koppelman Award at SAGA's 65th Annual Members Show.

London-born artist Marion Lerner-Levine studied painting and printmaking at the Chicago Art Institute. Her images convey a sense of the magic and mystery of objects as if seen through a mirror. Recent woodblock prints and monotypes are concerned with landscape patterns and structures and with intimate city views from across narrow streets.  She has received numerous awards, including an NEA; and her works are in several public collections around the world.

After postgraduate study at the Slade School of Art in London, Tennessee born Barbara Minton received her MFA at Pratt Institute. Inspired by the interaction of nature and architecture in Brooklyn, she continues to work on a series of landscape etchings that draw the viewer into the intimate relationship between past and present. She has taught printmaking and art history at various colleges, and her work has appeared in many exhibitions and competitions.           

Masaaki Noda was born at Hiroshima, Japan, in 1949. He graduated from Osaka University of Art 1972 and moved to New York 1977, where he studied with Michael Ponce de Leon and Michael Pellettieri at the Art Students League. He has had over sixty one-person shows throughout the US, as well as in France, Greece, China, Taiwan and Japan. Masaaki’s prints (mainly silkscreens) have been included in four hundred group and international venues around the world.  He serves as graphic director of the Audubon Artist Association in New York City.

Japanese artist, Tomomi Ono, studied traditional Japanese painting.  After living in Spain, she moved to New York in 1993, where she studied lithography at the Art Students League. Ono’s work has been exhibited in the US, East Asia, and Europe. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards; and her work is in prestigious private collections, as well as in major public collections.  

London born Merle Perlmutter is known in the printmaking world for soft-ground mezzotint etchings. She is represented in museum collections around the world, has been the recipient of the CAPS grant and of 44 additional printmaking awards and was the 2009 honoree of SAGA.  She has exhibited throughout the world, and her etchings have been featured on television’s Channel 13. 

Projects Gallery’s own Florence Putterman was awarded an NEA Grant in 1979 and has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the US and Europe. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Pennsylvania State University in 1988 and the Lifetime Achievement Award from SAGA in 2010.  Her works are in numerous museum and corporate collections, and she has received several purchase awards. Florence is listed in Who’s Who of American Art and Who’s Who in America.

Ellen Nathan Singer received a BFA from Columbia University and studied at the Art Students League of New York. Her printmaking includes woodcuts and etchings. Her work is in several notable collections, and reproductions have appeared in several publications. She has exhibited in many solo and group shows.

Oklahoma born Shelley Thorstensen lived in Austria and Germany before settling in Oxford, PA, on the edge of the Amish country.  Recent solo shows include the Painted Bride Art Center, Woodmere Art Museum and Philadelphia’s The Print Center.  She has a BFA from Syracuse University and an MFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, where she teaches drawing and printmaking.
Steven Walker was born in Brooklyn in 1955 and grew up in Long Island. He studied art at Wagner College on Staten Island and New York’s Art Students League.

William Behnken
'Round The Town
Image size 17.5"H x 19"W
Joe Essig
Marcy Avenue
Image size 15.5"H x 19.75"W
Color etching finished by hand
Amir Hariri
Image size 16"H x 25"W
Drowning Saturn
Stone Lithograph
Michael Hew Wing
Journey of Three
Image size 6"H x 6.5"W
Marion Lerner-Levine
Cherries and Blue Ribbon
Image size 13.75"H x 17.5"W
Etchingm Aquatint

Barbara Minton
Image size 4.5"H x 3.5"W

Masaaki Noda
Image size 19"H x 26"W
Tomomi Ono
Day and Night Sky
Image size 20"H x 27"W
Monoprint Lithograph
Merle Perlmutter
Almost There
Image size 23.5"H x 17.5"W
Intaglio, Soft ground etching, Mezzotint
Florence Putterman
Encounter at Sea
Image size 17"H x 23”W
Ellen Nathan Singer
At the Window
Image size 9"H x 5.75"W
Shelley Thorstensen
Hand to Mouth
Image size 36"H x 23"W
Etching, Relief, Mezzotint
Steven Walker
Composition in Red and Blue
Image size 19"H x 25.5"W
Etching, Aquatint, Woodcut