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  • Clarington Outdoor Festival 2019: Call for Submissions

    Location: Bowmanville, ON

    Call all artists! The Clarington Outdoor Art Festival (COAF) 2019 is celebrating the..
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  • Beacon Original Art Call for Artists

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Beacon Original Art invites emerging, mid-career and professional artists to participate in our..
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  • 2020 Ducks Unlimited National Portfolio

    Location: Bracebridge, ON

    DUCKS UNLIMITED CANADA – NATIONAL ART PORTFOLIO CALL FOR ENTRIES – DEADLINE JULY 31,..
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  • 2019 ANIMA MUNDI - CONSCIOUSNESS

    Location: VENICE,

    ITSLIQUID Group, in collaboration with Venice Events and Ca’ Zanardi, is pleased to..
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  • Walker Industries Juried Art Exhibition

    Location: Niagara on the lake, ON

    Daisy Fresh has been selected as one of 26 finalists in this juried..
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  • The Second Latin American Contemporary Fine Art Competition

    Location: New York, NY

    The Second Latin American Contemporary Fine Art Competition - May 21st to June..
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  • Lines, Shapes & Objects Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the Lines, Shapes & Objects art competition. For this..
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  • HEDI KYLE: THE ART OF THE FOLD

    Location: Halifax, NS

    The NSCAD School of Extended Studies & Letterpress Gang are hosting a..
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  • Toronto Outdoor Art Fair - Call for Artists

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Attend the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair Attend the 58th Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, Canada’s..
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  • Surfaces Exploration and Experience Karen Colville Artist

    Location: New West Minster, BC

    In the Plaskett Gallery @ Massey Theatre Surfaces…Exploration & Experience Artist Karen Colville June 25th..
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  • Race, Ethnicity and belonging

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all artists (over 18) residing in Alberta..
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  • Art District Gallery Membership

    Location: Kitchener, ON

    Art District Gallery May Membership Drive - Drop in Open House -Tuesday May..
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  • Art in the Garden 2019

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Taking place at various gardens on Vancouver's North Shore, this will be the..
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  • North Van Arts Deadline Extended! (50th Anniversary Exhibition)

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    North Van Arts has extended our deadline to Sunday May 26 at Midnight..
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  • Manitoba Neuroscience Network Donation Request

    Location: Winnipeg, MB

    Seeking art pieces for the silent art auction that will take place as..
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  • “White” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline June 30, 2019

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: White cats, white milk, white snow. Reflecting most wavelengths of visible..
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  • Call for Art | 4th Annual Cityscapes Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 4th Annual Cityscapes art competition. For this competition,..
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  • Myseum Intersections 2020: Call for Submissions

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Myseum of Toronto is launching a call for submissions for our fifth annual..
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  • Call For Artists - Art Sale Fundraiser

    Location: Toronto, ON

    ART SALE FUNDRAISER BENEFITING CRISTINA’S TORTINA SHOP HOSTED BY PROGRESSIVE TRAINING COLLEGE OF BUSINESS..
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  • H.A.P. Art Contest by ALPHA Education

    Location: Scarborough, ON

    ALPHA Education is hosting its annual History + Art = Peace Art Contest!..
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  • On the Same Page: Transforming Paper

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    On The Same Page: Transforming Paper showcases artists working with paper as an..
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  • ANIMA MUNDI | VENICE MAY-NOV 2019

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: ANIMA MUNDI | VENICE MAY-NOV 2019 ITSLIQUID International Art Festival ITSLIQUID GROUP,..
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  • 9th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Past (Tense) by David Scott Exhibition

    Location: Calgary, AB

    HUB @ 302 Crossroads Art Centre The Alberta Society of Artists #302 – 1235-26th Avenue SE Calgary,..
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  • Call for Artist/Writer in Residence

    Location: Harrison Hot Springs, BC

    The Kent Harrison Arts Council Artist in Residence Program Visual Artist / Writer in..
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  • Sue J Amon Art Exhibit

    Location: Yarmouth, NS

    There will be an art exhibit of the works of Sue J Amon..
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  • Acrylic Painting Workshop with Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

    Location: Nakusp, BC

    In this 2-day workshop, we will learn from the award-winning acrylic painter Tatjana..
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  • Artists’ Network Gallery Streetcar Art Exhibition

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Submissions: March 8 – May 31, 2019 Exhibition: June 11 – 27, 2019 We are..
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  • Friends of Bon Echo Art and Sale exhibition

    Location: Cloyne , ON

    Call to Artists With its striking views and varied moods, Mazinaw Lake has drawn..
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  • Acrylic Painting Workshop with Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki In this 2-day workshop, we will learn how to quickly develop rich..
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  • Jun 8 – Intro to Stained Glass Workshop

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    In this workshop attendees will learn how to make a simple sun catcher..
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  • Jun 6 – 27 – Introduction to Acrylics

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    This course is intended for anyone who would like to try acrylic paints..
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  • May 29 – Jun 19 – Core Drawing Skills

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Master the fundamentals of drawing in this introductory course, which will build your..
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  • May 25 & 26 – Cedar Bark Hat Workshop

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Join master weaver Jessica Silvey and learn the fundamental techniques of the checker..
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  • International Open Call to all Artists: Painting on the Edge

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    International Open Call to all Artists: Painting on the Edge Painting on the..
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  • The Wilds of Venice: Study Contemporary Art + Creative Entrepreneurship at the European Cultural Academy with the Jealous Curator and The Wild Residen

    Location: Venice,

    Education Opportunity for Artists: the 'Wilds of Venice' Certificate Course in 'Creative Entrepreneurship +..
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  • Summer Solstice Art Festival

    Location: Brainerd, MN

    We are having a Summer Solstice Art Festival June 23rd 10-4. We..
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  • Architectonic

    Location: St. Charles, MO

    The Foundry Art Centre is a Community Art Center with Fine Art galleries..
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  • Mid Main Art Fair

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    The 9th annual MID MAIN ART FAIR will be held on Sunday, June..
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  • Game Studio needs Art Illustrators

    Location: Bridgewater, NS

    We are a fully funded video game studio in Nova Scotia that is..
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  • Anima Mundi

    Location: Venice, Italy,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: ANIMA MUNDI | VENICE MAY-NOV 2019 ITSLIQUID International Art Festival Deadline: April..
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  • Call to Artists - $40,000 in Awards - The Salt Spring National Art Prize

    Location: Salt Spring Island, BC

    The Salt Spring National Art Prize offering $40,000 in awards, one of Canada’s..
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Nik Semenoff, The Fine Art of A Master Printmaker

By ArtistsInCanada Interview April 14, 2003

} Nik SemenoffThe Fine Art of A Master Printmaker By Paul Constable Over the many years I have known Nik Semenoff, I have had the good fortune of a great friendship. His studio is a humble workspace situated in the basement under the stairs. All kinds of chemicals and powders are in Jars stacked to the ceiling. Not one square foot of wall space remains. The open ceiling houses all kinds of gadgets, and printing devices, Print making supplies and ink rollers hang suspended from their cradles. Mostly all hand made. We share a common interest in producing art; mine was mostly in painting until Nik introduced me to printmaking, his way. Fine art printmaking is a skill more easily attained today than a century ago because of many new revolutionary techniques and processes he has invented and refined over the past 30 years. He unfortunately is more-well known around the world than here in Canada. In the Arts as in many other professions, one must go away to be discovered before you are recognized at home. It seems to be the Canadian way. If you are a Student, an Artist, Printmaker, Secondary School Art Teacher, University Printmaking Instructor or you are just generally interested as a consumer in knowing how Nik Semenoff has changed printmaking, this will be of interest to you. Nik's processes still involve the traditional way of printing, by using a press, rolling up a plate and offsetting the image onto paper, cloth or other substrates. What is different is the artist has been freed up to work directly on the plate without the use of acids to etch the surface. Fine detailed intaglio like washes to hairline work can melt into solid fluid shapes; these are now possible through Nik's Waterless Lithography process. He employs photographic images, computer generated graphics and other directly applied markings that will give him the texture desired. His abstract artwork is produced in multiple colours, even up to 17 colours on one particular print, all in perfect register. Silkscreen Etching Linocut I asked," what qualifies a fine art lithographic print"? Nik says, "the artist must work directly on the original plate or plates". This can be photographic as well as drawing directly on the surface. Each plate is inked with a hand roller and the editions are traditionally in the lower numbers, with 10% allowed for artist's proofs. Each print is marked 1/10, 2/10 etc. titled if desired and usually signed in pencil. Editions are small as the plates eventually break down due to vigorous inking and the pressure of the press on the plate. Upon completion the plate image is marred to prevent further editioning and preserve the integrity of the print series. So what is the difference between the mass -produced offset lithographs available through the commercial printers and the process mentioned above? Today's technology allows photographic images of fine artwork to be reproduced with minimal variance. Full colour images are simulated through the mixing of 4 colours, magenta, yellow, cyan and black. Technicians expose plates for each of the colours desired and a dot or rosette pattern carry the colour and transfer it to the paper. The pressman adjusts the press for colour, through computer settings and runs-off as many as the client has requested. The artist may have done the original piece of artwork, but it has been transferred through a scanner, which tries to simulate the original. After the image is printed the artist quite often signs each proof in pencil and numbers the series. What for I don't know? The pressman is actually in control of the colour adjustments and image quality. There is nothing wrong with these poster images being made, but consumers should be aware of the differences and should ask the seller when ever they're uncertain. Look for the edition run marked on the bottom of the sheet, if it is above 300 it is suspect. The Research Medal Pride In 1992 Nik Semenoff retired and became an artist-in-residence at the University of Saskatchewan. Through those years of instructing he saw a need to economize and consider the working environment the students create in. He developed water-based inks for printmaking and silk screening. These inks stood up to many tests of light fastness, opacity and consistency. He has found many substitutes for the traditional chemicals used in the studio. A few years ago he figured out how to reuse his litho plates, a large part of the cost of printmaking. He also developed a salt etch (a copper sulfate solution) for etching aluminum plates, after a student couldn't work with the acids. A few years ago he developed a palm press, ideal for making monoprints and lithos. I asked him, what started him looking for alternatives? Nik said, " Living in Saskatoon, many supplies were not always available". Insight With the Waterless Lithography process, he had to discover products to act as a resist and an adherent to the thin metal plates. Through a process of trial and error and a basic knowledge of chemicals and their properties, he found photocopier toner made a great medium whether thinned with camp fuel or compressed into a stick. The toner is made up of 90% black plastic particles, so it had the density to draw with. Once placed on the plate, it is then heat sealed with a hot air blower. The background had to be blocked out and clear household silicone was found to work great. It is thinned with camp fuel and placed over the whole surface with a sponge. The silicone resists the ink, so the ink only sticks to the image drawn. Nik has a great web site where he shares all his findings freely. All the processes are written out and 100's of students and instructors visit his site daily to research the process or to email him their questions. Each year Nik teaches Summer Session, which is international in scope and held at the University of Saskatchewan. Other Universities around the world seek out his expertise for his hands on workshops. Nik Semenoff is regularly invited to exhibit in Printmaking shows from around North America. His work can be found in Calgary at Image 54 gallery. You may visit Nik's web site - duke.usask.ca/~semenoff/ or you can find him through www.artistsincanada.com.. _________________________________________________ Paul Constable is the Director of Artists In Canada. He is a Painter / Printmaker and Senior Graphic Designer for an Advertising and Communications company in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Paul Constable can be reached by email HERE. His paintings may be viewed at: www.ArtistsInCanada.com/pconstable. Your suggestions for future articles are welcome. _________________________________________________ © 2003 ArtistsInCanada.com