The Bartell Theatre logo that you see on the website menu, on our posters, and throughout the theatre is part our rich history. It was part of the commissioned wood block prints by Steve Chappell in 2003.
In April of 2003 I was commissioned by the Bartell Community Theatre of Madison, Wisconsin to make a limited edition wood block print. They asked that I make a portrait of their unique building featuring its vintage 1960s-style facade. The prints are being sold to raise funds.
This was the largest edition that I have ever produced. From the first stage, where the lines were drawn on the block, to the final impression run through the press, it took over seventy hours of studio time to complete the entire edition. Following three months of production, the final print came off the press on July 9th, 2003 at 1:45 a.m.
It was a fun project that consumed much of my studio time during the second half of 2003. In essence, printing THE BARTELL was a collaborative of artists. In a healthy arts community mediums should, whenever possible, overlap and support one another. In this case, a visual image celebrates a performance space.
I love seeing plays at The Bartell. The building has two performance spaces that are shared by numerous theatrical groups. The actors come from a variety of backgrounds, some professional, others amateur. The actors are all volunteers and so ticket prices are low. The atmosphere there is very unpretentious. It reminds me of “Off-Broadway” in Manhattan.
The year 2004 marks the Bartell Theatre’s sixth year in business. I have no doubt that it will enjoy a long and active life in Madison’s growing arts community. I can’t wait to see the next play!
An edition of 100, with 5 artist’s proofs. Approximately 1 pound of ink was used. The paper is Arches, a mould-made paper imported from France.
Note: The composition features six colors: blue grey, tan, yellow, brown and black. The color portion was printed with a single pine board in the “jigsaw method.” If a given composition allows for it, this method is especially useful when printing long editions. To complete the composition the key block was printed over the colors in black. The key image was carved out of a study piece of wood veneer. The veneer has a hard surface and is more likely to maintain image quality throughout a long run.