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Indepth Arts News:

2000-01-21 until 2000-02-16
Fraser Gallery
Washington, DC, USA United States of America

Last year Georgetown's Fraser Gallery began planning their first art show of the year 2000, and decided to assemble together a sampling of some of the best young printmakers from around the world. Almost immediately the name of Cuban printmaker Niurka Inurrieta was suggested to the gallery staff, and after looking at some of the work by Inurrieta, the gallery extended her an invitation to exhibit some of her etchings at the Printmakers Only exhibition which opens on 21 January at the gallery's Canal Square location in Georgetown.

Niurka Inurrieta's work had just been exhibited in Portugal, says Catriona Fraser, owner of the Fraser Gallery and co-curator of the exhibition, and when I saw it for the first time I was very impressed by her imagery and technical skill.

Inurrieta was invited to exhibit and she accepted the invitation, which would mean the first-ever showing of her work in the United States. However, when she applied for an artist's visa to attend the exhibition's opening reception, it was denied by the United States. We don't know why it was denied, says Roberto Wong, a spokesman for Inurrieta, artist's visas are usually approved as matter of routine for invited Cuban artists. He then suggests that perhaps the legal battle over the fate of the six-year old Cuban boy have poisoned the waters for Niurka Inurrieta.

She was devastated, adds Wong. As an artist, making a debut in the United States is a major accomplishment, and not being able to be present at the opening is a major heart-break for Niurka.

The exhibition, which opens Friday 21 January with a reception for the artists (free and open to the public) from 6-9 PM, includes several etchings by Niurka Inurrieta as well as prints by American, European and other Latin American artists.

In these days when the computer has made it very easy for artists to reproduce their work, says Fraser, and huge marketing efforts are aimed at selling sometimes worthless reproductions of original art, we wanted to stage a show which highlights the work of artists who still make their prints by hand.

Included in the PRINTMAKERS ONLY show are intaglio etchings, woodcuts, linoleum prints and other prints which are hand-printed by the artists. In addition to Niurka Inurrieta, work by Grant Silverstein, Foust, John Jacobsmeyer, Alejandro Escobedo, Rachel Visnith, Rosemary Feith-Covey, James Skavarch, Peter Excho and others will be on display until February 16, 2000.

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