Black History Exhibition Features Master Printmaker Thomas Lucas

January 29, 2013 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Thomas Lucas is a master printmaker and artist, as well as the founder of Hummingbird Press Editions, where he has collaborated with such well-known artists as Richard Hunt, Kerry James Marshall and William Conger.

Lucas’ works, including prints, paintings, ceramics and selected collaborative works from Hummingbird Press, are on exhibition at Elmhurst College through Friday, February 22. A public reception with an artist’s talk by Lucas will be held on Wednesday, February 20. Both the exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public.

The ideas incorporated into Lucas’ work reflect a lifelong interest with the mechanical aspects of objects.

“I grew up around ‘motor-heads’ and was inspired to take things apart and put them back together to see how they work,” Lucas says in his artist’s statement. “I open the hood of my car these days with the same curiosity as a kid, but as an artist the mechanical components have become the core of the subject matter in my work.”

Lucas’ artworks are included in various private and public collections, and he exhibits nationally and abroad. In addition to his work as an artist, Lucas currently teaches at Chicago State University, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Harold Washington College.

“I am especially interested in the experimental nature of Lucas’ work,” says Suellen Rocca, curator and director of exhibitions at Elmhurst College. “For example, he combines his printmaking techniques with his ceramic work by printing directly onto the clay. His pot or vase wecomes a vehicle for narrative, functioning somewhat like the storytelling imagery on Ancient Greek vessels.”

Thomas Lucas: Print Quintessential celebrates Black History Month at Elmhurst College. It can be viewed in the Founders Lounge of the Frick Center. The artist’s reception on February 20 will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Founders Lounge. The Frick Center is open days and evenings.

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