Label Text: Blackburn was created in homage to master printer Robert Blackburn, who passed away in April 2002. Considered a legend in the printmaking world, Blackburn established The Printmakers Workshop, a cooperative press that is the oldest non-profit lithography workshop in the United States. He is also known for his pioneering efforts in abstract color lithography. An African-American artist as well as a master printmaker, Blackburn supported and encouraged the careers of other African-American artists like Romare Bearden, Faith Ringgold and Jacob Lawrence.
Ron Adams, another African-American artist and master printmaker, retired from printmaking after 25 years to devote himself to making his own art full time. Finding great inspiration from earlier masters like Dürer, Goya, Kollwitz as well as the Mexican muralists, his style is classically realistic but one that incorporates aspects of 20th century expressionism, seen clearly in the exaggerated musculature of his figures. His palette tends to be monochromatic which highlights his confident line, sense of mass and strong use of light and shadow. His figures seem focused inwardly, confined and solitary in their own thoughts and feelings as well as in their pictorial space.