Local Makers Based In Marin
Made in Marin presents local makers—designers and manufacturers, artists and craftspeople—based in Marin. This reoccurring exhibit highlights the work of emerging makers who live and work in our community. Made in Marin lauds the county’s heritage of creative artisans and the beauty of the work made by our neighbors.
About the Artists
Grayson Kent (b. 1974) was born and raised in Inverness, CA and has worked for the past twenty-three years as an artist and arborist.
Kent’s art practice started with a coincidental visit to the printmaking facility at UC Santa Cruz. While studying Environmental Sciences, he wandered into the university’s printmaking facility and was immediately intrigued by the machinery, smells, paper, and technical processes. After spending two years at UC Santa Cruz he transferred to College of Marin where he began a dedicated study of printmaking with artist Trune Bykle. Kent started experimenting with etching and his early work referenced his surrounding environment – the thick woods of West Marin, old cars, local history, and the daily scenes from his work as an arborist.
In 1997, Kent was introduced to printmaker Rick Little and started to work in his Point Reyes-based studio. Little became a mentor and encouraged Kent to go back to school at Sonoma State University to further his studies in printmaking and hone his skills.
Once there, Kent began making woodcut prints and especially enjoyed the process of drawing, carving and inking directly onto the wood. He found his medium with the woodcut technique of printmaking and as he moved away from etching, he maintained his focus on tight, fine lines and strong contrast.
Kent appreciates the similarities between his work as an arborist and an artist – like working with a tree when he is carving the wood surface for a print there are parameters (the board) and one chance for mark making – it’s an irreversible, reductive process. Likewise, with both types of his work, restraint and precision are necessary.
The non-linear narrative style of Kent’s prints is informed by his appreciation of the work of William Kentridge, Kathe Kollwitz and imagery from the Ukiyo-e movement, a genre of Japanese art from the seventeenth to nineteenth century that utilized woodblock prints and painting to depict scenes from history, folk tales, landscapes, and erotica.
Now, through years of experience, Kent has developed his own black and white visual language that employs lines, circles, and voids to create constellations of moments that form his unique narrative. These formal and striking compositions exhibit just how completely he can engage directly with wood to depict both past and personal histories.
Ido Yoshimoto (b. 1978) was born and raised in Inverness, CA. He has worked as an artist and arborist for twenty years, and through his understanding of the raw material, he explores the capabilities and natural qualities of wood.
Sourcing wood locally, Yoshimoto carves and sculpts with hand-held tools. The chainsaw is his primary device and it allows him to work on a large scale, creating dramatic textures that inform the overall composition. His recent work is a combination of sculptural and functional – seating arrangements, sculptures, tables, stools and prints made directly from the grain of cut wood.
As a child, Yoshimoto spent time in artist J.B. Blunk’s workshop, and you can see in his work that he and was deeply influenced by Blunk’s use of materials and tools. The way in which Blunk finished his sculptures with a chainsaw to create a rough and fluid texture has influenced Yoshimoto’s approach to carving. Furthermore, Blunk’s hand-built home, which bridges the realms of conceptualism, craft, and installation art, encouraged Yoshimoto to see artistic potential in his surrounding environment.
Yoshimoto’s work has been exhibited internationally. Recent exhibitions include a solo show at Toby’s Gallery in Point Reyes Station (2010), ‘Astral Planes’ at Ogaard Gallery in Oakland (2014) and ‘Object, Tool, Shape’ at Curator’s Cube in Tokyo, Japan (2016).
Saturday, September 29, 2018
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Please join us for a conversation with the artists, Grayson Kent, and Ido Yoshimoto, moderated by Tung Chiang of Heath Ceramics.
RSVP or questions to Dr. Linda Frank
LFrank@marin.edu or call 415.485.9528.
Exhibit Sponsor: Norton Fine Art
Special Thanks: Heath Ceramics
Print by Grayson Kent
Photo by Daniel Dent