DC Artist Gail Shaw-Clemons’ mastery of the rainbow roll technique is on full display in this vibrant exhibition of her monotype sculptural prints. Her work challenges the eye to see color not experienced before. Nearly 50 of these vivid works comprise the exhibition, dominant in the series are sculptural assemblages that twist paper and color into even more high-contrast rainbows.
The public opening for the exhibition takes place on Saturday, May 20th, from 6pm-8pm (free, RSVP required). The exhibition runs through June 25, 2023 in Pyramid’s Helen C. Frederick Gallery. Gallery hours are Wed–Thu, 10–8 pm and Fri–Sun, 10–6 pm. A virtual artist talk will be held June 14th at 6 pm. Pyramid is located at 4318 Gallatin Street, Hyattsville Maryland 20781. For more information and an RSVP link, visit pyramidatlantic.org or call 301-608-9101.
Using a technique inspired and invented by her mentor, Professor Thadeusz Lapinsky, who taught at the University of Maryland, Shaw Clemons’ rainbow roll process allows an array of gradient colors to be printed with one passing of the roller, while maximizing colors.
This body of work began at Pyramid Atlantic when it first opened from the Covid 19 shutdown. Working with color became a healing and rejuvenating process for the artist, presenting a needed distraction from the horrors of Covid, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the political unrest.
“This series represents the fact that beauty can be created in response to—and in spite of—trauma, disappointment, fear, and bewilderment. It is akin to how Jazz translated feelings into sound yet created beautiful music,” remarks the artist. “Rainbows are a sign of hope, new beginnings, and transformation dating back to biblical times. Children are fascinated by them, while envisioning that pot of gold Over the Rainbow. The LBGTQ community has embraced the rainbow representing inclusivity, diversity, and the spectrum of human sexuality and gender. Coincidently, my research revealed the rainbow as a complete circle, which can only be seen in its full glory from 30,000 miles above the earth, as the horizon interrupts our full view. The circle is symbolic of oneness, unity, perfection and has been a recurring shape in my work even before the rainbow roll.”
Gail Shaw-Clemons, born in Washington, DC, received her Masters’ Degree in printmaking from the University of Maryland. She is a printmaker and mixed media artist and activists. She has exhibited extensively, with many works included in public and private collections in the USA, Brazil, Norway, Sweden, China, Fondazione il Bisonte – Florence, Italy and the Republic of Ireland. Her work is also in the collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Library of Congress, and the Banneker-Douglass Museum. Shaw-Clemons has a studio at Stable Art and prints at the Bob Blackburn Printmaking Studio in New York as well as the Pyramid Atlantic Printmaking Studio. Shaw-Clemons taught at the United Nations International School in New York for 24 years and is currently an adjunct professor at Bowie State University. Learn more about her at gailshaw-clemons.com.