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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Printmaker finds inspiration through horses

    Sheila Pitt is an associate professor who teaches in the Relief Print program at the UA School of Art. Currently, her work may be seen in the school’s Faculty Exhibition today through Oct. 21 at the UA Museum of Art.

    Wildcat: How many years have you participated in the faculty exhibition?

    Sheila Pitt: Since 1987.

    W: And what kind of work can we expect to see from you this year?

    P: You can see prints, and this year they will be combined with intaglio prints, and they’re derived from 16th- and 17th-century equestrian anatomic figures.

    W: Is that where you get a lot of your inspiration?

    P: I look towards art history and towards the 16th and 17th century – in particular, equestrian.

    W: So, in general, what is printmaking?

    P: A print is anything that is transferred from one surface to another. In printmaking, we teach all the processes and printmaker’s work in reverse and slap paper on it, run it through the press and get a print.

    W: What primarily inspires or influences your work? Is it just from the 16th and 17th centuries?

    P: Well, I am a dressage rider and have been for 40 years, so I always want to work in a field that interests me, that reflects who I am, and horses are a lot of who I am. Of course, horse art can be incredibly corny, so I always want to push in a new direction and look at them in a new way.

    W: How do you find the time to teach classes and continue creating your own work?

    P: It’s a real problem; it’s a struggle. And, so, my summers are always spent in the studio, every day, every afternoon from noon ’til six. It is one of my joys of the summer. And, then, during the teaching semester, if I don’t have a show I have to prepare for, I generally do a lot of thinking and preparation work for when I’m off. But, it’s a big struggle.

    W: Where else has your artwork been displayed?

    P: Well, I’ve been in over 150 exhibitions around the world. Recently, I got the jurors prize at the California State Polytechnic University in Pomona and they purchased one of the prints in the faculty show for their library collection. I recently had two pieces in the International San Diego Art Institute Award Exhibition, which is a very big international exhibition. It was juried by Dr. (Norman) Bryson, who is a world-famous art historian. So I’ve been in print competitions that are appropriate for my work – usually museums, not usually commercial galleries.

    W: How long does it take to complete one of your pieces of art?

    P: I work very fast. A little piece I can do in three hours. A big piece, like in the faculty show, probably takes 2 to 3 months.

    W: Now, if you could be any Batman character, who would you be and why?

    P: Does it have to be a Batman character?

    W: Or any super hero – who would it be?

    P: Well, obviously, Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is my heroine, she can do anything. She can save the world, so Wonder Woman is my girl.

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