Dean Snyder (L), Paul Mullowney (R)
Growing up on a Pennsylvania Dutch farm and spending summer holidays on the “boardwalk and in the arcades of the working class Jersey shore,” Dean Snyder experienced the power of “places and objects brought into the world with the sole purpose to lure, convince and seduce.” This “spellbinding imagery, creosote fragrance, carnivalesque ambiance and erotic undertow,” since, have been “the incubator for [his] motivation toward art making and remains a source for much of the visual assets [he] values and uses in [his] studio now… Making works that arouse curiosity and provoke questions is the heart of [his] main job.” Among questions of interest, Snyder explores “Where have I come from and what am I doing here?” In his sculptures and drawings, Snyder desires to narrate sensations, emotions and states of being, and arouse the audience to curiosity and inquiry.
Snyder received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently an Associate Professor and Department Head of the Sculpture Department at Rhode Island School of Design. Snyder is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts, Rhode Island Council for the Arts, Williams College, Vermont State Council for the Arts and Illinois Arts Council. Exhibitions include The American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Academy of Design in New York; “Twice Drawn” at Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY; “On the Ball: The Sphere in Contemporary Sculpture” at DeCordova Museum and SculpturePark in Lincoln, MA; “Earthly Delights” at MassArt in Boston, MA; and “Gallery Artists” at Zolla/ Lieberman Gallery in Chicago, IL.
Paul Mullowney’s large-scale prints are inspired by the woodcuts of Japan’s Shikoh Munakata, contemporary pulp manga, and religious Catholic and Buddhist iconography. In his recent series of monumental woodcuts, Heaven and Hell, Mullowney explores the theme of the Buddhist concept of Samsara, the human entrapment in the endless cycle of death and rebirth. The figurative imagery, carved roughly and quickly into wood, riffs on varied sources – from the imagery of ancient Hell scrolls of Heian Japan, and the Edo period Ukiyo-e prints of Yoshitoshi, to the violence and ennui of global pop anime culture. The images are printed on thin Japanese papers, utilizing layers of collage and hand painting, and distressed with varnishes and wax.
Paul Mullowney received his training as an etcher at San Francisco’s prestigious Crown Point Press where he became a Master Printer after working with major artists such as John Cage, Richard Diebenkorn and Francesco Clemente. He went on to found Tokugenji Press in Nara, Japan, in the Zen temple where he and his wife Cathie were caretakers for ten years. He is presently Director of Printmaking at Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center, in Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, where he established HuiPress, a fine arts publishing and residency program.