New Edition: Prints by Dave + Sarojini Johnson

Prints are hot, and the wintertime Annual Print Exhibit at Gordy Fine Art and Framing will feature woodcut prints and etchings by two Ball State University printmaking professors. David and Sarojini Johnson are known both for their own signature styles and for the number of students following their example as professionals in the field. With more than fifty years of combined teaching, the duo continues to hone their artistic skills. “The woodcuts, etchings, and artist’s books in this show represent some of their best work,” notes Brian Gordy.

Topknots and Polka Dots

David’s woodcuts often depict humans or animals – cows, pigs, crows – in large color block scenes, fair barns, streetscapes, or fast food establishments. Sarojini’s pieces are known for an exotic flavor, where plants and insects, frogs and lilies are poised in colorful, dark, dreamlike garden scenes, decorative ribbons running around edges. In “Frog and Lily,” a blue-green spotted frog competes with orange and red flowers for center stage. David’s “Topknots and Polka Dots” depicts a seated woman who appears to be relaxing in a corner of the printmaking room at Ball State University – home office for the Johnson duo.

The two artists engage different methods to arrive at their compositions. Sarojini employs intaglio, mastering the process in tight, rich details that are etched out of a metal plate. The plate is then inked and run through a press to create a single print at a time. David’s relief prints, cut by hand, often include color blocks of street scenes or observed moments of contemporary life. His artistic method of choice is relief printing, where wood or linoleum is carved away, leaving desired areas that then receive ink and are printed onto special papers. Each color requires either a different carved block or the same block, cut out a bit more after each color application.

The opening reception for “New Edition” will be held Thursday, February 6, 2014 from 5 to 8 PM at the downtown art gallery. Light refreshments will be served and the artists will be introduced at 6:15 PM for a short talk, and to answer questions about the work. The exhibit will continue through February 28, 2014, and may also be viewed during normal business hours or by appointment.

NEW WORK: academy records, matt lynch, nathaniel russell, george shumar, and chris vorhees

Through years of art business – first as an art supply store, more recently as an art gallery and frame shop – Brian and Genny Gordy have enjoyed the company of dozens of Ball State art students. Both graduates of that program, the Gordys found many student applicants were readily trained to work in their downtown business. Some of these employees graduated to become professional artists, art professors or game developers. For their November art exhibit, the Gordys will feature five of these former co-workers who have continued to collaborate and create, exhibiting from Chicago to New Zealand, Los Angeles to Bologna. Sometimes solo, often in collaboration, these men weave music, live performance, film, installation, and other artisans into their bigger-than-life exhibitions.

Stephen Lacy, Matt Lynch, George Shumar, Jr. and Chris Vorhees may be remembered for their late 1990’s downtown art gallery, “Sandbox,” or their rolling art gallery, “Object D’ART,” a fully-functioning mini gallery on wheels, pulled by a 1973 Dodge Dart. Filled with juried works of art, the project toured each quadrant of the country and produced a bound “Tour Diary 1998-99” of events, including stopping points and stats, such as: “Actual Total Stops Nationwide: 87. East Coast: 48. Avg. Viewers per Day: 48.” Joined by Nat Russell, the D’ART project was just a starting point for the ongoing collaborative art produced by this very active group of creative thinkers, art and music makers.

New technologies have enabled these five artists to reach ever-wider audiences, in their trademark “more is more” fashion, with more than a sprinkling of humor. Examples include a Styrofoam car created by Vorhees for installation in a tree at a Phish concert and a huge wooden skate bowl, installed at a Chicago art venue and then moved to Los Angeles.

Stephen Lacy placed a mock TV studio in a Los Angeles storefront, complete with a 1960’s variety show set and filmed it all as performance art to be broadcast through his Academy Records and Actual Size websites.

Vorhees, organizer of the event, owns Theoretical Woodworking, a custom design and build company. He is an installation specialist, working with artists, museums, and architects.

Skateboarder, installation artist, and surfboard & poster-painter, Nat Russell is famous for his hand-scrawled posters, served as artist-in-residence at Facebook in Menlo Park, CA, and has exhibited at art venues in Australia, Canada, France, and Berkeley.

Lynch, an art professor at the University of Cincinnati, works under the name, SIMPARCH, creating site-specific and responsive, large-scale artworks that strive to encourage communal interaction and social exchange. He claims an infatuation with “absurdly functional forms.”

Shumar, who studied metalsmithing at Ball State, discovered quilting after moving to Vermont and will exhibit “Hot Weather Quilt 2013,” made from jersey mesh, mosquito mesh, key rings, and balloons.

The opening reception for “New Work” will be held Thursday, November 7, 2013 from 5 to 8 PM at the downtown Gallery. Light refreshments will be served, and the artists will be introduced at 6:15 PM. The exhibit will continue through November 30th and may also be viewed during normal business hours: Monday-Friday, 9 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday, 9 to 3.


Print Exhibit + Photo Exhibit = Artful Feb

David Johnson's Animal Farm

David Johnson’s Animal Farm

Printmaking will headline the gallery show for February in our Annual BSU Print Exhibit. Spearheaded by BSU professors David and Sarojini Johnson, the exhibit always includes a few of their top students, as well as their own. David is known for his multi-colored relief prints that often depict farm animals, crows, or portraits of people in public settings. His wife, Sarojini, typically produces intaglio prints with a decidedly decorative – exotic – flavor. Vines, birds, the moon are often framed in floral vines, textures and twilight colors. “Frog and Lily” depicts a blue frog, beautifully textured, with orange lilies on yellow-green lily pads.

David Johnson works from life. What he sees, people he knows, animals in pens at the fair. The artist determines the focal point in his bold and colorful scenes; crows, people, or pastel-colored pigs in pens. We can’t look away, as the images are so familiar to us, yet take on a dream quality by their isolation, colors, arrangements. The artists sees, and wants us, his viewers, to see, too.  There will be a short talk by the artists at 6 PM about their work and this exhibit, which includes students, Terre Keck and Brandon Beeson.

The Annual BSU Print Exhibit will open in our gallery on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 5 PM.  A new, second exhibit will open our “Small Exhibit Series” with photos by recent BSU grad Amelia Morris. “I like to think of the work as a series of public and private confessions, ” offers Morris, “my post-grad blues.”  There will be talk about this exhibit at 6:30.

Light refreshments will be served. The opening hours are 5 to 8 PM. For more information, call Gordy Fine Art & Framing at (765)284-8422 or email,

Sarojini Johnson's seductive intaglio prints invite a storyline for the viewer.

Sarojini Johnson’s seductive intaglio prints invite a storyline for the viewer.

Feb 2013
AUTHOR cskadmin

Framing, Gallery, News

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Sunlight in the Gallery

The gallery looks beautiful this time of year.  Strong sunlight sneaks in under the awning and bounces off the 100-year old polished wood floor, giving the whole space a perfect “artist’s light.”  Coffee and cookies await guests – a recent addition to our daily customer service list. On the wall – that beautiful, historic, absolutely authentic gallery way – Larry Graham’s photos and (surprise) rather abstract paintings hang. Good stuff.  Graham was our professor at Ball State University, and we are so pleased to exhibit his work. He has many followers, friends, former students, and they still trickle in, catching these last days of his show, up through November 30th.

Then comes the Annual Salon Show, opening on December 6th! We represent two dozen artists (listed below), and for the Annual Salon, we exhibit up to 3 pieces from each of them.  This is one of the times we are most pleased to have a hanging system in place on our gallery wall. Trying to arrange up to 50 pieces of art is tough, but it would ruin our beloved wall if we were placing nails each time, and we don’t have to do that. (We installed a Walker Hanging System years ago; no nails!) The Annual Salon is typically our greatest challenge, as far as art hangings go, but the resulting exhibit is always breathtaking. Fortunately, the exhibit stays up for two months, through January 31, 2013.  Pieces that sell, in the meantime, can be easily removed and some minor tweaking will correct the arrangement of paintings, drawings and prints.

Please consider bringing any of your out-of-town guests downtown for a gallery visit, complete with coffee and cookies. They will get a good look at the dynamic art scene we enjoy here in Muncie and Delaware County. Perhaps they’ll even want to take some art home! GFAF artists include: Kim Anderson (pottery), Scott Anderson (painting), Sue Beach (pottery), Carol Burt (pottery), David Dale (pastels), Eric Ernstberger (acrylics), Jim Faulkner (watercolors), Charlene George (oils), Brian Gordy (watercolors), Corey Hagelberg (printmaking), David Johnson (printmaking), Sarojini Johnson (printmaking), Suzanne Marie Lambert (acrylics), Paul Laseau (watercolor), Cheryl Anne Lorance (bronze & glass sculptures) Jan McCune (jewelry), Alan Patrick (oils), John Peterson (pottery), Martin Price (pottery), Margie Prim (oils) and Carol Strock-Wasson (oils).

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Nov 2012
AUTHOR cskadmin


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