As the second longest-running juried print and drawing competition in the country, the biennial Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition features the best contemporary graphic artwork from around the globe. In its 33rd season, the exhibition displays 107 of the finest and most creative pieces from 90 artists all over the world.
Entries this year came from Belgium, Canada, Iran, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, and the United States. The exhibition runs from March 5 to April 15.
This year’s juror was Robert E. Marx, a master printmaker, an illustrator of more than a dozen books, a distinguished professor of art, and a Fulbright scholar. Boasting more than 40 solo exhibitions of prints, sculptures, and paintings, his work is featured in the permanent collections of many public and private institutions, including the Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, National Museum of American Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Seattle Art Museum.
When selecting the pieces for the show, Marx says, “I was looking for someone who had something to say, someone who is a true craftsman, knows what they’re doing when producing drawings and prints.
“I was especially drawn to pieces that cause intrigue, and I really looked forward to seeing a return of the figurative and conservative side in the entries.”
Oscar Gillespie, Bradley’s resident printmaker and art professor, was instrumental in the selection of this year’s juror. Gillespie directed the exhibition from 1986 to 1991 and is the founding coordinator/printer for Bradley’s Cradle Oak Press facility.
Originally developed as a national competition, the Bradley Print and Drawing Exhibition was initiated in 1950 by Ernest Freed, the then-Bradley University director of the School of Art. Since opening to the international market 10 years ago, each show has seen a steady increase of entries from overseas.
This year was the first time online applications were accepted. Elizabeth Kauffman, director of University Galleries, says the online applications have resulted in a dramatic increase in entries from younger and international artists. More than 1,000 entries were received this year from 411 artists. “About three-fourths of this year’s entries were received online.”
Awards to artists included four cash prizes totaling $2,500, each of which were selected by the juror. Winners had not been announced at press time. In addition, the University, other local art organizations, and regional art collectors selected multiple works for purchase awards. These awards allow artists an opportunity to sell their works as well as be featured in a respected collection.
All accepted art-work was featured in a full-color exhibition catalogue available for viewing on the exhibition’s website. The show is on display at Bradley University’s Heuser Art Center, Contemporary Arts Center of Peoria, and The Peoria Art Guild.